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Jury decides for family at trial of medical malpractice lawsuit

In Pennsylvania and elsewhere, older individuals often develop health conditions that require special care. However, many of these conditions are treatable, and patients can still live a long life when their needs are properly met. One family recently endured the heartbreak of losing a loved one after what they claimed was negligence on the part of the hospital. A jury agreed with them and they won their medical malpractice lawsuit.

The lawsuit was brought after a man died in 2008. He was 78 years old. According to a spokesperson for the family, the man was brought into the emergency department of the medical facility on Easter. The records indicated that the patient was complaining of difficulty breathing and apparently unintended gain in his weight. Doctors purportedly diagnosed the patient as suffering from the failure of his heart to function normally as well as an irregular rhythm.

During the overnight hours, the man's health deteriorated, and his physicians determined that he required more intense and specialized care. However, for inexplicable reasons, his move to a unit for critical care was delayed for nearly half a day, and the patient was unconscious by the time he was finally transferred. Efforts to rouse him were unsuccessful and the patient died a week and a half later after a decision was made to remove his life support equipment.

The family pursued the medical malpractice lawsuit, and a jury returned a verdict awarding them $250,000. Though this family lost a beloved family member, they might now have a sense of closure knowing that the medical facility was found responsible for their loss. Pennsylvania families have the same right to file a similar civil lawsuit if a loved one died as a result of negligent care by a physician or other medical care provider.

Source:, "Jury finds malpractice in UMass Memorial lawsuit", Gary V. Murray, Dec. 26, 2016


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