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Medical Malpractice Settlements on the Rise

On Behalf of | Sep 7, 2012 | Medical Malpractice

New statistics confirm what many New York City residents have long known: medical malpractice at puplic hospitals is not only common, it is often devastating. This is nothing new, but the startling fact is that, over the years, these medical mistakes have actually been on the rise. So far this year, New York City has doled out $135 million for medical blunders at its public hospitals, which is a 5% increase from 2010. 246 cases were completed in fiscal year 2011, resulting in payouts of $135 million, up from $128 million in 2010, records show. Some families had to struggle for more than a decade just to settle their lawsuits.

The human toll of these easily avoidable blunders is often heartbreaking. Take the case of Anna Gloria Rivera, whose family didn’t receive a medical malpractice settlement until this year. She was a 10-year-old girl who had a severe asthma attack and was rushed to Woodhull Hospital in Brooklyn back in 1998. Court documents show that when she arrived at the hospital in the early morning, a doctor put her on a respirator without asking her mother for a medical history or administering any kind of pain medication, a blatant and dangerous oversight. Tragically, the dose of oxygen from the respirator proved to be fatal.

The largest medical malpractice settlement this year was $8 million, which was awarded to a Bronx woman who went to Lincoln Hospital for treatment of a cheek infection. She wound up paralyzed. This tragic outcome could have easily been avoided too. The 38-year-old woman went to the dentist to see what the problem was, and the dentist who saw her drained the abscess without requesting a culture of the infected tissue, a test that would have helped him realize she was suffering from a dangerous but increasingly common infection called MRSA. She left the dentist’s office believing that everything had been taken care of. 10 days later, the infection spread to her neck and spine, paralyzing her from the neck down.

If you have suffered as the direct result of a medical practitioner’s mistake, contact the medical malpractice lawyers at Antin, Ehrlich & Epstein. We specialize in winning large settlements for medical malpractice victims, and if you are a victim of medical malpractice, contact us as soon as possible so that we can fight for you.