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Medical Malpractice Case Helps Injured Patients Understand Hospital Liability

March 17, 2014 | Michael Barasch

Stacey Galette, 34 years old, went into a Long Island hospital for what she believed to be a routine surgery. Little did the Brooklyn mom known that this routine procedure would turn into a nightmare resulting in the loss of both her legs. 

Galette visited Winthrop University Hospital in 2009 for a laparoscopic removal of an ectopic pregnancy, a pregnancy occurring outside the womb. During the procedure, doctors allegedly punctured her intestine. This surgical injury let to blood poisoning and gangrene, resulting in the necessary amputation of both her legs. Galette also lost most of her hearing. 

Fortunately for Galette, New York does not impose damage caps limiting the amount of money injured patients can recover for doctor negligence. In late January 2014, after three days of deliberation, a jury awarded the injured mom $62 million:

  • $20 million for past pain and suffering
  • $38 million for future pain and suffering
  • $4 million with interest for medical expenses 

One juror stated it was clear doctors had made mistakes, but the dilemma was valuing Galette’s loss of limbs and loss of enjoyment of life. The hospital denies any doctor or hospital negligence and plans to appeal the verdict and damages. In fact, lawyers for the hospital say Galette should be thankful doctors were able to save her life. Galette and her family are just happy justice was served. 

Hospital negligence is just one type of medical malpractice, which includes doctor negligence, dental negligence, nursing negligence and much more. When doctors are employed by, or are agents of a hospital and are negligent in patient care for failing to provide the standard of care generally accepted by the medical community, the hospital and the doctors may be held liable for the resulting injuries. 

If you or a loved one was seriously injured because of the negligent or substandard acts of doctors, surgeons, hospitals or other medical professionals, experienced medical malpractice lawyers can guide you through your options.


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