Medical Malpractice - Emergency Room Error - $500,000

Anesthesia Error - $850,000

Type of injuries: Permanent vegetative coma; loss of consortium

Court: Hampden Superior Court
Special damages: None.
The two plaintiffs' claims for loss of consortium were based on the intangible losses of the plaintiffs' lost relationship with their mother and daughter.

Amount of Settlement: A structured settlement consisting of cash and annuities with a present value of $750,000 was obtained for the daughter and the grandmother of the patient.

Case Summary:
Additional monies were obtained by settlement on behalf of the injured patient. The settlement of the claims for loss of consortium brought by the daughter and the mother of the obstetric patient came about after plaintiffs' counsel was able to demonstrate numerous departures from standards of care on the part of the anesthesiologist and obstetrician in the delivery room.

Minutes after the pregnant patient delivered her baby, she suffered a cardiorespiratory arrest. Plaintiffs' counsel were prepared to prove that the patient's cardiorespiratory arrest was caused by an improperly 'high spinal,' which came about as a result of departures by the anesthesiologist -- including his failure to monitor the level to which the spinal anesthesia had risen -- and his failure to appropriately change the position of the patient once she began to suffer the high spinal.

Moreover, plaintiffs' counsel were prepared to prove that the patient was not appropriately attended to and observed by the defendants in the delivery room because the anesthesiologist was attending to the newborn baby rather than to his patient -- the mother -- notwithstanding that the obstetrician, obstetrical resident, and trained newborn nurses were available to attend to the baby's needs. As a result, the patient's cardiorespiratory arrest was not timely treated and irreversible brain damage was suffered by the mother -- which the plaintiffs were prepared to prove was preventable.

The minor plaintiffs mother fell into a permanent, vegetative coma just after giving birth to the plaintiff. The plaintiff, accordingly, sought damages for loss of consortium (the loss of her mother's comfort, companionship and guidance). The minor plaintiffs grandmother (the mother of the patient rendered comatose) also sought damages for the loss of consortium of her daughter.