$13.75M Verdict Awarded to Triple Amputee in Medical Malpractice Case

March 10th, 2017

By Dean I. Weitzman, Esq.


A South Carolina woman will receive $13.75 million in damages from a hospital group after doctors and nurses failed to properly diagnose her illness when she was admitted in December 2012, causing her to lose both legs and one arm to amputation due to sepsis.

In a lawsuit filed by the victim, Seletha Gartrell, 54, of Aiken, S.C., claimed that she lost both her legs above the knee, her left arm below the elbow and fingers from her right hand due to the negligent care she received at Aiken Regional Medical Centers, according to a March 2 story by The Aiken Standard. The doctors and nurses who treated her “did not recognize Gartrell had sepsis, a dangerous illness that can cause death if not treated properly and promptly,” the report continued.

Gartrell was admitted to the hospital on Dec. 6, 2012 with severe sepsis, which later led to her going into septic shock, the story reported. Upon her admission, she was experiencing a rapid respiratory rate of 28, a high heart rate of 155, a low oxygen level at 89 percent and a temperature of 103.1 degrees F, the report continues.

Her lawsuit claims she was “not given the proper antibiotics until 14 hours after admission, 9 hours after the first order and 3.5 hours after the second order” and was not seen by a doctor until 5 hours after arriving in the emergency room. She suffered a code blue early the next morning in the hospital, after which “her extremities started to show mottling and other signs of ischemia,” the story reported. She was later transferred to the Medical University of South Carolina, where her legs, arm and fingers were amputated, the story continued.

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Gartrell “did suffer severe, permanent and catastrophic damage as a direct and proximate result of the negligence” of the hospital, her complaint states.

Following the trial, an Aiken County jury awarded Gartrell $10 million in economic damages and $3.75 million in non-economic damages to compensate her for her injuries, the story reported. The jury’s verdict form says the jury found “clear and convincing evidence that the defendant, Aiken Regional Medical Centers, was reckless, willful or wanton in their conduct,” the story reported.

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 malpractice and 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) 352-4572 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.

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