Gastric bypass surgery has been growing in popularity in recent years as community members try to take advantage of the new, seemingly positive weight control option. Those selling the surgeries are fond of using before and after photos in an attempt to convince wavering applicants of the merit of the procedure and highlight its possible benefits to those considering it. However, as with similar procedures, each Chicago medical malpractice lawyer at our firm understands there are often significant risks faced by patients who undergo these procedures. Unfortunately, medical providers often fail to appropriately warn patients of these risks. Matters are made even worse when the surgical team makes egregious mistakes during the procedures, often leading to lifelong consequences for victims.
For example, yesterday News 4 Jax profiled the story of one man, a former police officer, whose life was permanently changed because of medical malpractice after his gastric bypass surgical procedure. The man went in for the surgery over three years ago. At first it seemed like the procedure went well. However, it wasn’t long before complications began to develop. The hospital’s responses to those problems were amazingly inept. According to a medical malpractice attorney involved in the case, the facility failed to following standard protocols to provide even basic care to the victim. Many of the complications went undiagnosed, and by the end the man suffered a range of problems from brain damage to bed sores. He is now unable to walk, feed himself, clean, bathe himself, or speak clearly.
Following the ordeal the man filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against his caregivers. His suit was actually one of five different lawsuits filed by various victims against the same facility for a series of errors caused by basic problems at the hospital. Nurses at the facility even mentioned that they knew there were staff shortages and other issues which placed the care of patients in jeopardy.
Just the week the jury returned a massive verdict against the facility including punitive damages-totaling $177 million. Obviously the award amount is eye-popping, but it was settled upon mostly via punitive damage to punish the facility for its putting profits ahead of patients. The award is also a reflection of the immense costs that this particular victim will face for the rest of this life. The defense attorney even admitted that the man’s injuries were “one of the worst that any human being could have.” He will need around the clock care to perform even the most rudimentary functions and the overall toll on his quality of life cannot be minimized.
Expectedly, the hospital will appeal the decision, and so the case will drag on a bit longer. In the end it remains unclear what the man will actually receive and when. However, at least from this point forward he has the assurance that a jury of his peers heard the evidence and agreed that the care he was provided was far below the basic standard of care that all patients deserve when visiting a medical professional.
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