Rhode Island jury awards largest med mal award in state’s history

A multi-million dollar case provides an example of the relief available to victims of medical malpractice.

A victim of medical malpractice was recently awarded by a jury what is thought to be "the largest medical malpractice award in the state's history." An eight-member jury heard the case and granted the award.

A man who suffered from a genetic blood-clotting disorder sued his medical providers for mismanagement of his medical care. The case began in December of 2010, when the patient went to a Rhode Island emergency room and complained of fatigue and lower back pain. The doctors stated he should go off the blood thinning medication used to manage his blood-clotting disorder so he could undergo a colonoscopy to check for lymphoma.

Shortly thereafter the man returned to the hospital. Medical tests to determine the source of his illness revealed hyper-coagulation. Medical staff admitted the man to the hospital for further treatment. Medical staff told the patient to refrain from taking his blood-clotting medication while he awaited additional tests. During this waiting period, the man became severely ill and was readmitted to the hospital. At this time, additional medical tests conducted at the hospital showed the patient suffered from severe, life-threatening blood clots in his legs and lungs. Ultimately, the medical professionals managing his care deemed the damage so severe the patient required amputation of his leg.

The victim contends that had his physicians properly managed his blood clotting medications while he underwent tests to diagnose his ailment, his leg would not have required amputation. He also stated that due to the physician's mismanagement he suffered from anxiety and depression.

After an eight-day trial, the jury ruled in favor of the patient. He received a monetary award $40 million.

This case provides an example for anyone that receives inadequate care from a medical professional that leads to an injury. Compensation is available through a personal injury claim.

An important note about medical malpractice claims in Rhode Island

Those who are injured due a medical professional's negligent or reckless practice of medicine can hold the professional accountable through a medical malpractice lawsuit. It is important to note that there is a time limit that can bar these claims. Each state has its own limit, generally set by the state legislature. In Rhode Island, state law sets this limit at three years of the time of the incident that led to the injury.

There are some exceptions to this rule. In some cases, for instance, the three-year time limit will not begin to toll until after a person would have "reasonably discovered" the injury. An attorney experienced in these matters can review the details of your injury and discuss the options that are available for legal relief.