A family has been awarded approximately $2.88 million in financial compensation after winning a medical malpractice case. The family alleged that medical malpractice and negligence committed by a pain clinic and doctor led to the death of their son. Their son committed suicide in Feb. 2013. Although this case did not happen in New York, it does highlight the dangers and potential complications that can result from treatment at a pain clinic.
In this case, it was not disputed that the 40-year-old man took his own life. However, the family alleged that their son's suicide was ultimately caused by medical errors made by the pain clinic and his doctors. The jury apparently agreed and issued this sizable award to the man's family as a result.
The lawsuit alleged that the man went to the pain clinic because he was suffering pain in his lower back. His doctor injected pain medication into the man's back, first in May 2008 and later in December of that year. However, the second treatment did not work to stop the man's pain. He returned in Jan. 2009 and was administered another treatment by a different physician.
After receiving the injections, a lump appeared on his lower back at the injection site. The pain clinic staff informed the man that the lump was normal and proceeded to give him another injection in the middle of January because he continued to suffer from pain. However, later that month the man was found to have meningitis, and although he survived the disease, he was left without control of his bladder and bowels, had difficulty walking and suffered from severe nerve pain. The man, who also suffered from psychiatric conditions, ultimately took his life, but not before commencing a medical malpractice claim.
His family finished the medical malpractice claim that he started. Those who are harmed by doctor or hospital negligence can seek financial relief in court. Further, New York families who tragically lose a loved one because of a fatal medical mistake have the right to seek monetary damages through our civil court system.
Source: bellinghamherald.com, "Jury awards nearly $3 million in malpractice case", April 7, 2014