When an elderly loved one is placed in a hospital or long term care facility in Pennsylvania, the only option some family members have is to trust that health care providers will meet the needs of their patients. While this is usually the case, some professionals may overlook important orders regarding a patient's care, resulting in serious harm. Unfortunately, one out-of-state woman claims that such medical malpractice ultimately led to her father's death.
According to court records, the father of the woman who filed the lawsuit was a patient at a long-term care facility located in a hospital in 2007. Because of his risk of suffering a fall, his medical records indicated that restraints were to be used. Unfortunately, the woman claims that these instructions were not followed, and the man suffered a fall. He died only hours after the fall.
The hospital argued that the man did not suffer a fall in the medical sense of the word and claimed that the information provided in the man's records may not have been accurate. They additionally claimed that his death only hours after the incident was simply a coincidence. Ultimately, the jury sided with the plaintiff, issuing an award of $4 million in punitive damages.
As this case illustrates, medical malpractice, including failing to follow orders in regards to a patient's care, can have serious consequences. Unfortunately, there are people in Pennsylvania who are also suffering as a result of such negligence. These victims also have the option of pursuing justice in a civil court, potentially preventing future patients from suffering similar harm.
Source: dothaneagle.com, "Jury awards $4 million in malpractice lawsuit against Dothan medical facility", Matt Elofson, March 29, 2016