Earlier this month, an appellate court in Idaho heard a medical malpractice appeal brought by the husband of a woman who had died from a serious infection she developed after being treated by the defendant doctor. In the case of Ballard v. Kerr, the court ultimately dismissed the defendant’s appeal and upheld the jury’s verdict in favor of the plaintiff for approximately $3.75 million.
The Facts of the Case
Ms. Ballard went to the defendant’s cosmetic clinic for a procedure that would remove fat from her stomach and deposit it in her buttocks. Prior to her procedure, she consulted with the defendant, who explained that she would be a good candidate for the procedure. However, shortly after the procedure, Ms. Ballard began experiencing “immense pain” in her buttocks. Initially, the defendant doctor did not see any signs of infection, but he provided Ms. Ballard with antibiotics just in case.
A few days later, she awoke in the middle of the night, asked her husband to call 911, and was hospitalized. She was only in the hospital a short time before her respiratory and renal systems began failing. She was placed on life support but died a short time later.
The medical examiner who conducted the autopsy noted that there was foreign bacteria in Ms. Ballard’s buttocks and that it likely caused her body to experience toxic shock syndrome, which was the ultimate cause of her death. Mr. Ballard then filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor, claiming that he failed to properly sanitize reusable medical equipment that was used during the procedure.
The first trial resulted in a mistrial because the defendant doctor’s attorney violated a previous court order regarding inadmissible evidence. However, at the retrial, both sides presented experts at trial, and the jury ultimately found that the doctor was reckless in the care of his reusable medical instruments and was liable for Ms. Ballard’s death. The jury awarded Mr. Ballard $2.5 million in economic damages and another $1.25 million in non-economic damages. The court also awarded roughly $150,000 in attorney’s fees.
The defendant doctor appealed to a higher court, arguing about 20 errors occurred at trial. However, the court affirmed the entire plaintiff’s verdict, minus the award of attorney’s fees, which was reversed.
Have You Been a Victim of Medical Malpractice?
If you or a loved one has recently been a victim of negligent medical care, you may be able to hold the responsible party accountable through a medical malpractice lawsuit. Medical malpractice lawsuits are not just about recovering the costs associated with your losses but also about making sure that doctors are held to the high standard society imposes upon them. The skilled attorneys at the Maryland medical malpractice law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers have decades of combined experience representing victims of medical malpractice and their families. Call 410-6544-3600 today to set up a free consultation.
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