$44M Jury Verdict to Brain-Injured Woman in Medical Malpractice Case
By Dean I. Weitzman, Esq. on May 13th, 2016
A Philadelphia woman who experienced an adverse reaction to blood anti-coagulation medication and was left with a serious brain injury as a result has been awarded a $44 million verdict by a Court of Commons Pleas jury in Philadelphia.
The woman, Andrea Tate, had gone to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in September 2011 to remove a mass in her head known as a meningioma, according to a May 6 story by The Legal Intelligencer. Tate was 57 years old at the time of the surgery, which was seen as a “routine surgical resection,” according to a plaintiff’s memo.
Tate “underwent a craniotomy and resection, and the size and location of the mass ‘made it a particularly difficult and complicated procedure,'” according to a defense memo. “The hospital’s memo said Tate had been having complications, including swelling, and an external ventricular drain was placed at the base of her head.”
Inside the hospital’s neurological intensive care unit, Tate was given the anti-coagulation drug, heparin, to help with post-surgical conditions, but after six days of testing to see how the drug was affecting the patient, the testing was stopped, the story reported. “For six days, those test results showed Tate’s coagulation was moving from the low end of the normal spectrum to the high end,” according to the plaintiff’s attorney. The results should have told medical personnel that she was at “high risk for brain hemorrhage,” but instead no additional testing was done, the story reported.
Several days later she was found to be comatose after suffering a massive bleed in her head, the story states.
After a 13-day trial, the jury awarded Tate and her family $44 million for her continuing care and pain and suffering due to the hospital’s error in not recognizing her adverse reaction to the heparin prior to her brain hemorrhage, the story reported. The jury found the hospital 65 percent liable and an attending doctor 35 percent liable in the case.
Tate had been a project manager at a financial services company before her surgery, the story stated. The brain hemorrhage “caused catastrophic brain injury, which left Tate unable to walk, feed herself, or use the toilet,” according to the story. She is now bedridden and given care by her husband. She was also left paralyzed in her left side and right leg.
These kinds of cases are a somber reminder that patients and their families must be vigilant about the medical care they receive so they know what is being done for a patient’s care every step of the way. But at the same time, patients and families aren’t doctors and they can’t know every question to ask.
That’s where skilled, expert, compassionate and thorough legal representation is needed by patients and their families who have been harmed by medical errors or omissions during their treatment. These kinds of cases happen on a regular basis, but they can be fought by legal teams that are prepared to battle for their clients’ rights all along the way to a fair settlement or to a just verdict.
We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a similar medical malpractice, birth injury or related case anywhere in the United States. We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.
Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.
When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.