Last month, juries in Philadelphia County and Delaware County awarded million dollar verdicts in two separate malpractice cases. The medical malpractice lawsuits involved two of the largest hospitals in the area, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the Crozer-Keystone Health System.
The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania is the main hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Health System and is also one of the area’s largest hospitals. It is located in West Philadelphia and is widely regarded as a top hospital, both locally and nationally. Crozer-Keystone Health System is comprised of 5 hospitals and multiple outpatient centers and is located in Delaware County, just outside of Philadelphia.
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Hit with $44 Million Verdict
In one medical malpractice case, a Philadelphia jury awarded $44 million to a woman who suffered a major brain hemorrhage which resulted in a brain injury and the inability to talk or walk. She alleged negligence against the hospital where she underwent a surgical procedure to remove a mass in her head. After the surgery, she was put on blood thinner medication.
Days later, she fell into a coma after suffering a major brain bleed. She alleged negligence in the failure to properly monitor her blood coagulation levels. The hospital claimed that its treatment was appropriate and that brain hemorrhage was the result of complications from the initial surgery. The jury found in favor of the patient and found the hospital 65% liable and the attending doctor 35% liable. This recent verdict is one of the largest medical malpractice, hospital malpractice verdicts in recent years.
Delaware County Jury Awards $6 Million After Radiology Mix-Up Leads to Surgery
In the other case, a Delaware County woman had her appendix removed at Taylor Hospital in Ridley Park, Delaware County. She claimed that the radiology group mixed up her CT scan studies with those of another patient and that as a result of the mix-up she underwent unnecessary bowel surgery and removal of her appendix. She also alleged that after the mix-up was uncovered, her CT scan studies were intentionally deleted. The jury ruled in her favor and found the hospital (Crozer Keystone) 80% liable and the radiology group 20% liable.
The number of medical malpractice lawsuits across the Philadelphia area, including Delaware County and Montgomery County, have generally declined over the past few years. This is due to legal hurdles patients face when filing medical negligence claims. One of them is the certificate of merit requirement, which requires the medical malpractice attorney to file a certificate verifying that a medical professional has reviewed the claim and found it to be meritorious or valid. This requires hiring a medical expert at a very early stage in the case, and the costs are often quite high. Naturally, this is an impediment for many patients and their attorneys.
Despite the decline in medical malpractice lawsuits in Pennsylvania, juries have continued to find in favor of patients. These two recent medical malpractice cases certainly show that juries are not swayed by the large defense firms who are hired to defend medical professionals.
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