Medical professionals have it ingrained in them throughout their many years of training to always wash their hands as well sanitize any instrument that comes into contact with their patients. This is extremely important for these professionals, who spend the majority of their time in an environment rife with all kinds of things that can cause illnesses or infections.
The importance of proper sanitation cannot be overstated. And that is why it has become a part of the duty that a doctor, nurse, or hospital has to its patients. Thus, if a patient is negligently exposed to dangerous bacteria while in the care of a medical professional, that patient may be entitled to seek financial recovery from the negligent party to help them cover the costs they have incurred, as well as compensation for any decrease in the quality of their life.
Ballard v. Kerr: Negligent Sterilization Leads to Patient’s Death
The facts giving rise to this case are tragic. Ms. Ballard planned on surprising her husband with a cosmetic surgery while he was away on military service. She consulted with the defendant doctor about a procedure that would remove fat from her midsection and redeposit it in her buttocks. The doctor told her she would be a good candidate, and the procedure was scheduled.
On the day of the procedure, the doctor used both disposable and reusable medical equipment, which was normal. The doctor also took some, although not all, available measures to ensure that the equipment he used was properly sanitized. However, after the surgery, Ms. Ballard began to experience severe pain in her buttocks.
A few days after the surgery, she was admitted to the hospital, where it was noted that her renal and respiratory systems were beginning to fail. She was placed on life support immediately but died a short time later. The medical examiner conducting the autopsy found foreign bacteria in Ms. Ballard’s buttocks, which he believed was the product of insufficient sterilization of the reusable medical equipment.
Mr. Ballard filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor, and the jury agreed with him that the doctor was reckless. The jury returned a verdict awarding Mr. Ballard $2.5 million in economic damages as well as $1.25 million in non-economic damages, for a total of $3.75 million. This verdict was upheld recently on appeal.
Have You Been a Victim of Medical Malpractice in Georgia?
If you or a loved one have suffered from what you believe to be negligent medical care, you may be entitled to monetary compensation through a Georgia medical malpractice lawsuit. These cases, however, can be extremely complicated and may require additional steps to be taken, including the retention of expert witnesses. The skilled medical malpractice attorneys at Miller Legal Services have represented Georgia residents injured by negligent medical professionals for years, and they know what it takes to succeed on a client’s behalf. Call 770-284-3727 today to set up a free no-obligation consultation with a dedicated personal injury attorney who will patiently explain your options.
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Man Successfully Sues Insurance Company after Rejecting Company’s Low-Ball Offer, Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, August 18, 2016.