Montgomery County Jury Awards Silver Spring Woman $2.35M Maryland Medical Malpractice Verdict Over Wrong Diagnosis

A jury has awarded Yesenia Rivera $2.35 million for Maryland medical malpractice. Rivera, now a 28-year-old Silver Springs woman, had to have part of a leg and a portion of a foot amputated after doctors wrongly diagnosed a kidney blockage.

Rivera had first sought treatment at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital for severe stomach pain on August 1, 2006. She was diagnosed with a kidney stone and given pain medicine. Two days later she was back. This time, doctors thought she was either experiencing an ectopic pregnancy that had ruptured or a gallbladder problem. According to the Washington Post, the septic infection that she was suffering from went untreated for hours and spread through her body.

Rivera would go on to develop gangrene. Part of her right foot and part of her left leg had to be removed. She also lost her fingers, which fell off on their own because of a syndrome called “autoamputation.”

According to her Montgomery County medical malpractice complaint, Dr. Dawn Thornton and Dr. Virendara Saxena, who are both defendants, did not prescribe the fluids that Rivera needed, which limited the oxygen sent to her extremities. She also said it was 10 hours before someone came to drain her kidneys.

The Montgomery County jury found that both doctors had been negligent in their medical care of Rivera. They awarded the Silver Springs mother of three $1.5 million for pain and suffering, $360,000 for lost wages, $190,000 for medical expenses, and $296,000 for loss of household services. Because of Maryland’s cap on pain and suffering awards, her total award is reduced to $1.5 million.

Md. woman wins $2.35 million in malpractice case, Washington Post, August 11, 2010
Amputee in Maryland wins $2.35 million in malpractice suit, The Daily Record, August 15, 2010
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