When a surgeon's actions end up hurting instead of helping a patient, the patient has the right to take legal action through the civil court system in Pennsylvania. One university football player filed a medical malpractice legal suit against a doctor who reportedly botched the player's spine surgery. He was awarded more than $4 million in the suit.
The man in 2009 noticed that he was suffering pain in the lower back. A scan showed that one of his discs was herniated, meaning the cushiony material located between vertebrae started to slip from its proper place. When the pain intensified, the man pursued surgery.
When a doctor performed surgery on the man's back in 2010, he operated on another disc by mistake. The man experienced an even greater level of pain after this surgery, which made the completion of everyday tasks painful. The man then saw a different surgeon to go over treatment options; this second doctor said the man would require surgery on both the herniated disc and on the disc that was operated on by mistake. The surgeries eliminated the man's pain temporarily, but the pain returned several weeks after the surgeries had been done. The alleged medical malpractice ended the man's football career.
The man was awarded damages totaling $3.8 million in his medical malpractice suit. He was additionally awarded more than $480,000 for both potential and past medical expenses. Whenever a doctor does not exercise a reasonable degree of care in treating a patient, it is within the rights of the patient to seek justice through the legal system in Pennsylvania.