MRSA Victim Receives $9.2 Million Hospital Malpractice Award

Last week in Connecticut, a woman was awarded $9.2 million after being disabled for life while under the care of a hospital she only entered as an outpatient. The 72-year-old went to Bridgeport Hospital with a urinary tract infection (UTI) and contracted superbug MRSA. She spent the next 75 days struggling to overcome the infection. According to her lawyer, the woman is “wheelchair-bound for the rest of her life.” The verdict is one of the largest malpractice claims against a hospital in Connecticut’s history.

Jury award for hospital malpractice

The owners of Bridgeport Hospital, Yale-New Haven Health System, issued a public apology to the victim, but officials did not say they wouldn’t appeal the verdict, and the hospital’s lawyer asked the judge to throw the case out immediately after the verdict was announced. The judge refused.

The patient was 65 at the time of the initial incident. Admitted to hospital for the UTI, she was overdosed six times with a blood thinner, causing her to bleed into her abdomen. She then developed a blood clot in her abdomen, went into cardiac arrest, was revived, and underwent emergency surgery.

It was during recovery for the surgery that she contracted MRSA. Subsequent surgeries involved the removal of part of her shoulder bone, and five years later one of her surgical incisions opened, leaving her unable to move by herself.

According to the statement issued by the hospital, published in the Connecticut Post: “Bridgeport Hospital deeply regrets this incident and offers our most sincere apologies to Mrs. Lathan.”

“We respect the judicial process and appreciate the jury’s assistance in this matter. Bridgeport Hospital developed additional protocols designed to minimize harm associated with high-risk drugs shortly after this incident. In addition, the hospital has launched a comprehensive electronic medical record system that will help in the prevention of medication errors. Once again, we offer our most sincere apologies to Mrs. Lathan and her family.”

The hospital malpractice award is one of the biggest in Connecticut’s history. According to the Department of Public Health, there were 20 incidents of patient death or serious disability arising from medication errors in the state between 2005 and 2011.

What constitutes hospital malpractice?

To meet the legal definition of malpractice, healthcare professionals must be proven to be ill-qualified, wilfully negligent or otherwise incompetent. If a patient dies, it must be shown that the death is “more likely than not” the fault of the doctor. Surgical errors, falls, negligence, misdiagnoses, wrongly prescribed medication – theses are all common types of hospital malpractice.

NY medical malpractice lawyers

In New York, malpractice settlements have actually decreased in recent years. Nevertheless, there were still $131 million worth of settlements reached in the state during 2012. If you believe you have been a victim of negligence while under the care of a hospital, you may be entitled to a hospital malpractice award. If you are eligible to file a malpractice lawsuit, you could win compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.

To find out more about filing a lawsuit, speak to NY medical malpractice lawyers from The Sanders Firm. They can advise you of the advantages and disadvantages of filing a lawsuit against healthcare professionals and hospital administrators. For more information, contact The Sanders Firm at 1-800 FAIR PLAY for a free case evaluation. Resources

  1. NY Daily News – Hospital malpractice claims drop,
  2. CT Post – Bridgeport Hospital Ordered to Pay $9.2 Million,