A Frederick County jury has awarded almost $1.37 million to a woman who suffers severe and chronic leg pain and must take a blood thinner each day, after a diagnostic test left her with vascular injuries. The jury found that a doctor negligently performed a laparoscopy to determine the cause of the woman’s ovarian or abdominal soreness, and that he lacerated blood vessels. The lacerations led to emergency surgery which stopped the bleeding, but the incident left her with a deep vein thrombosis, or blood clot, in her leg and the possibility of more clots. The plaintiff alleged that the doctor violated the standard of care by performing the procedure without proper visualization, using excessive force and failing to take proper precautions to avoid cutting blood vessels.
The pain and suffering portion of the verdict, which included more than $315,000 for loss of consortium, accounted for about $1.2 million of the jury’s award. That figure will be reduced by about 45 percent to $650,000, the cap that was in place when the claim arose. The jury also awarded $156,915.01 in economic damages, of which $83,004.16 is for future medical expenses, $65,186.77 is for prior medical costs and $8,724.08 is for lost wages.
I successfully handled many medical malpractice cases just like this in Baltimore and other counties in Maryland. Many of these cases have been surgical cases just like this, where the allegation is that the doctor did not perform surgery properly.
What makes this case especially interesting is that the verdict is in Frederick County. That county is generally known among Maryland medical malpractice lawyers as being a very difficult place to win a verdict for a plaintiff. Even when a plaintiff does win, it is usually a low verdict. Recently, there have been several large verdicts in medical malpractice cases in Frederick. As one of my colleagues recently said, the glass ceiling has been broken in medical malpractice cases in Frederick.
Personally, I believe no Maryland county is immune from a large malpractice award as long as the plaintiff is a quality person, the malpractice is severe and the damages are severe.