• 1.75 Million verdict in Pennsylvania medical malpractice claim alleging wrongful death.
  • October 19, 2010 | Author: David Rosenbaum
  • Law Firm: Rosenbaum & Associates - Philadelphia Office
  • A jury rendered its decision in the Pennsylvania medical malpractice case of Garner v. Girard Medical Center, awarding the estate of a 64-year-old woman injured by physician negligence a sum of $1.75 million, pursuant to the Wrongful Death Act and Survival Act. This preventable tragedy unfolded when health-care workers ignored surgeon orders not to feed Ms. Garner orally following surgery she had to reverse a colostomy. Ms. Garner's caretakers fed her both liquid and solid foods only four days after the surgery concluded.

    As a result of her caretakers' dereliction of their duty, Ms. Garner developed a fistula, which in turn led to sepsis (infection), which spread to her whole body. The infection ultimately caused organ failure, which precipitated her death. The plaintiffs also alleged that the medical professionals in charge of Ms. Garner's care failed to take effective action once she developed the complications (i.e. the fistula and the sepsis).

    In complicated medical malpractice cases, like Garner v. Girard Medical Center, a lengthy and detailed investigation may be required to show a chain of "cause-and-effect" leading from physician negligence or carelessness to patient injury. It's not enough simply to assert that a patient got harmed or even killed while being treated at a hospital. Nor is it enough to say that a doctor or other provider was negligent.  You need your Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawyer to draw a very clear, detailed, and evidence-backed argument -- one that would convince a reasonable outside factfinder -- that the error, omission, or negligence indirectly or directly cause significant harm.

    In a Philadelphia medical malpractice case like this one, a variety of parties can potentially be held liable, including the responsible caretakers, the hospital, and insurers representing any named defendants. Plaintiffs can seek compensation for medical bills, loss of companionship, loss of current and future wages, burial costs, pain and suffering, and legal and court fees.