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Plaintiff Receives $21 Million After Wife Suffers Catastrophic Brain Damage During Back Procedure


In a recent case, a Georgia court of appeals upheld a jury award against a doctor after a patient underwent a procedure to relieve back pain. The woman alleged that she suffered catastrophic brain damage from oxygen deprivation after she had a procedure done to relieve her back pain. While her lawsuit was still pending, the woman died, and her husband then amended the lawsuit to add a wrongful death claim.

Operating RoomAccording to the allegations, the woman experienced chronic back pain and began being treated by an anesthesiologist and pain management specialist in 2008. The doctor gave her two epidural steroid injections during two separate visits at that time. When the woman went to receive a third injection, the procedure did not go according to plan. The doctor was running late, and the woman ended up waiting about 50 minutes in the operating room after she had begun receiving a pain reliever and propofol, a medication that decreases consciousness and memory.

The doctor began the procedure about 10 minutes after he arrived, and the oxygen monitor signaled that the woman’s oxygen level had dropped below 90 percent. The doctor told the nurse to increase the woman’s oxygen flow, and he concluded she was still breathing. The surgical tech was concerned the woman was not breathing and asked the doctor several times if she could turn the oxygen level up higher, but he told her not to do that. The doctor continued the procedure and maintained that the woman was still breathing despite poor oxygen readings. The doctor finished the procedure and then gave the woman sedation reversal drugs and increased her oxygen flow.

The woman was brought to the recovery room, but after the woman did not fully wake up or respond normally after almost two hours, they called 911. When the emergency medical technicians arrived, the doctor did not tell them about the complications during the procedure. It was later determined that the woman experienced a catastrophic brain injury as a result of oxygen deprivation. The woman was severely cognitively impaired and was quadriplegic until she died six years later.

The case proceeded to trial, and the jury found the doctor 50 percent at fault, the surgery center 30 percent at fault, and the company 20 percent at fault. The defendants appealed the decision, but the appeals court upheld the jury award. The woman’s husband was awarded a final judgment of $21 million.

Georgia Wrongful Death Claims

A wrongful death claim may arise when an individual’s death is caused by the negligence of another person or entity. The purpose of a wrongful death lawsuit is to impose liability on those responsible for the destruction of human life. In Georgia, depending on the surviving family members, a wrongful death claim can be brought by a spouse, child, or parent, or by a personal representative. Bringing a wrongful death claim can allow the individual’s family to receive compensation for the value of their loved one’s life.

Contact an Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have lost a loved one due to another person’s negligence, you have the right to seek compensation. You have a limited amount of time to file a claim, so it is important that you act quickly. The attorneys at McAleer Law Firm are experienced in handling wrongful death cases and are ready to help. Our Atlanta attorneys can help you explore your full range of options and advocate vigorously throughout the legal process. Call us at 404-622-5337 or contact us through our online form.

See More Posts:

Man Shot by Stranger While at Home in Apartment Complex Fails to Establish Property Management Company Was Liable, Georgia Injury Attorney Blog, January 30, 2017.

Georgia Court of Appeals Finds in Plaintiff’s Favor in Nursing Home Slip-and-Fall Case, Georgia Injury Attorney Blog, January 10, 2017.