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Hospital admits guilt but no award is made in fatal error

People in Washington State who want to understand the process of seeking justice after a medical mistake has happened should know that there may be intricate details involved in doing this. Certainly being able to prove that an error was made is important but that is not the only thing that may need to happen in order for injured patients or their family members to receipt appropriate compensation.

A recent ruling in a case in Michigan involving the death of an elderly woman in 2012 demonstrates how careful people must be when making decisions about proceeding with a medical malpractice lawsuit. In that state, there is a cap on the amount of money that may be awarded for damages in a medical malpractice case. There is no such cap on damage awards for cases alleging ordinary negligence.

The woman's family chose to file an ordinary negligence suit and won an initial jury award of $20 million. The case was appealed and just recently the Michigan State Supreme Court has approved the repeal of that award on the grounds that the case should have been argued as one of medical malpractice not one of ordinary negligence. For now, the family will receive no compensation for the admittedly erroneous death of their relative.

When faced with a medical error and wondering how to proceed, people in Washington should consult an experienced attorney to understand the various elements involved in pursuing legal action.

Source: The Washington Post, "Grandmother died after surgeons mistakenly drilled her skull. Family won't get a penny.", Derek Hawkins, February 16, 2018

 

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