In March 2015, the family suing a neurosurgeon had their pain and suffering damages restored to $512,161 by a Superior Court Judge that had previously been reduced to $1 by the jury in Henderson County. Complications such as this may occur in North Carolina and around the country. The family of the now deceased woman sued the neurosurgeon for malpractice after she suffered chronic pain and other problems following the second surgery he performed.
The judge said the jury was misled by the defendant’s expert witnesses who implied she should have returned only to the doctor who performed her surgeries, and in not doing so she failed to follow up to avoid or reduce her symptoms. The judge admits committing prejudicial error by allowing the jury instructions to contain a point saying the jury could lower the monetary damages if they found she had not taken actions to reduce symptoms. The only evidence by the defense was that she didn’t return to the doctor she believed caused her harm.
The victim had no duty to follow up with a doctor she believed committed medical malpractice. She went to several different doctors seeking help following his surgeries. When a court believes an instruction was given that shouldn’t have been, they have the opportunity to change it at the trial level. The most important part is the outcome of the trial is the same in that the neurosurgeon was found to have been experimenting on human subjects.
When a person believes doctor negligence is to blame for their worsening or continuing medical problems, an experienced attorney may be able to aid them in seeking damages, such as pain and suffering, medical expenses and lost wages. If a family member dies due to malpractice, an attorney may be able to help them receive the damages they may be due.
Source: Henderson Lightening, “In reversal, judge orders Rosner to pay plaintiff $500k,” Bill Moss, March 13, 2015