A Cocoa Beach resident was recently awarded $3.6M in a wrongful death lawsuit filed on behalf of his wife. The case went to arbitration and the defendants have filed a notice that they wish to appeal the verdict.
The patient had gone to Cape Canaveral Medical Hospital where she received four spinal injections for lower back pain. Two weeks later, she was admitted to the ER in excruciating pain. The ER team diagnosed her with an epidural abscess. Throughout the course of the next year, the woman required numerous surgeries to repair the damage that she claimed was caused by the original surgeon. A year later, she died.
The plaintiff alleges that the attending doctor introduced a bacteria into her spine and then the care afterward in treating the problem ultimately led to her death.
One Year of Suffering
Throughout the course of her treatment, hospital staff found multiple large abscesses at the injection sites. She ended up with meningitis and suffered from hallucinations. At one point, she had to be placed into a medically-induced coma and fed IV fluids through her scalp. Spinal discs had to be removed after they too became infected.
Highly Unusual Court Proceedings
What is unusual about this case is that the judge entered a judgment after the arbitration but without a jury trial. This is what has prompted the Cape Canaveral Medical Hospital to appeal the decision. During the course of the proceedings, neither side called a witness and the arbitration process was characterized as “informal”. They noted that expert analysis had yet to enter the record.
If the appeal is successful and Cape Canaveral Medical Hospital does get the jury trial that they seem to want, the plaintiffs will provide their expert witnesses and the defense will provide theirs and the jury will need to decide the outcome.
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