2013 New York City Malpractice Settlements Drop To $131 Million

Thirty-nine year-old Jenise Mark was admitted to Kings County Hospital for the delivery of her child in 2010. What was supposed to be a routine C-section left the woman in a permanent vegetative state, after doctors botched two epidurals, causing paralysis in her respiratory system. To compensate the Mark family, the city paid almost $10 million to her husband – one of hundreds of New York City medical malpractice settlements that cost the city $131 million this year.

While the settlements dropped slightly in 2013 – down from $134 million in 2012 – the figure calls to attention the incredibly high rates of hospital malpractice in New York. The Daily News reports that this “slight reduction” in payouts may be thanks to a special legal team that was formed within the public health and hospitals system to help avert surgical errors, doctor mishaps and costly jury verdicts. Statistically, the most common allegations raised in malpractice suits are those related to misdiagnoses and failure to diagnose.

Types of hospital malpractice

Though efforts have been made to reduce rates of medical negligence in NY area hospitals, every year patients are subjected to inconceivable injuries caused by doctor error and surgical mistakes. Defined as “when a physician fails to properly treat a medical condition and the negligent act or omission is the cause of a new or aggravated injury to the patient,” medical malpractice may encompasses a number of deviations from the accepted standard of care. Incidents may include failing to properly treat to a condition that was correctly diagnosed, to incorrect dosages or misuse of prescription medications, to anesthesia mistakes during surgery.

NYC medical malpractice settlements in the millions of dollars

Take the case of Farrah Pou, a Kings County Hospital employee who died from blood clots just five weeks after giving birth to her child in the hospital where she worked. Her husband says that Farrah thought she’d get wonderful treatment at her place of employment, but her doctors failed to provide blood-thinning medication as she had a condition that causes blood clots. One month after the birth of her child, Pou returned to the hospital complaining of shortness of breath and was given asthma medication, despite never having been diagnosed with the condition. One week later Pou died — the result of malpractice that should never have happened. Her 33 year-old husband, Michael Pou, got a $2.1 million settlement last week, but said “I would rather have her here than any amount of money. She wanted a baby so badly.”

An adverse surgical or medical outcome does not automatically imply a doctor is liable for medical malpractice, as it must be proven that the provider’s negligence was the direct cause of the injury or the death of a patient. Though malpractice settlements and verdicts are being won, it is essential that victims consult with a personal injury lawyer to determine eligibility for pursuing damages in a court of law.

Expert legal advice

Legal recourse is available to victims of hospital malpractice. Compensation recovered though jury awards or New York City medical malpractice settlements can help with the exorbitant expenses, long-term rehabilitation costs, lost income and other financial losses that injured patients and their loved ones may suffer.  To learn more about your options for filing a hospital malpractice lawsuit, contact The Sanders Firm for a free and confidential legal evaluation. Our team of veteran personal injury attorneys will examine the facts of your case and determine whether you are entitled to monetary damages. To schedule your private consultation, call our offices anytime, toll-free at 1.800 FAIR PLAY (800.324.7752).