Woman Loses Arms and Legs When Doctors Fail to Diagnose Infection

Posted on August 08, 2014 by Shapiro Law Group


If doctors should have noticed a serious health threat and fail to do so, they could be accused of medical malpractice. When a Milwaukee woman visited a hospital with a Strep A infection, doctors did not recognize the signs of the condition.

Sadly, the infection quickly spread to her extremities, and doctors had to amputate both arms and both legs. She filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctors that failed to diagnose her condition, and a jury awarded her $25.3 million in damages.

The complaint blames the spread of the infection on the lack of a secondary diagnosis. When you visit a doctor, he or she makes a primary diagnosis as to what your medical issue is along with secondary diagnoses about alternative conditions that you might be suffering from. Since they did not come up with any alternative diagnoses, the jury agreed that the attending doctors committed malpractice.

Will Caps on Medical Malpractice Affect This Case?

The woman initially filed the suit in 2011. Since then, the Wisconsin legislature passed a law that limits non-economic damages in medical malpractice suits. Non-economic damages are categories of compensation that you cannot directly quantify, such as loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress and mental suffering. In this case, the jury awarded her $15 million for pain and suffering in addition to other costs like $8 million for medical bills.

The hospital is likely to appeal based on the law. However, she might be able to keep these damages since she filed the suit before the law became enacted. Do you think she should be allowed to keep the full damages, or should the law apply to all cases regardless of when the harm occurred? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page!

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