A Colorado jury awarded $15 million to Jason Walters, a thirty-six year old man who became paralyzed within hours of being discharged from Memorial Hospital. Walters sued Memorial Hospital, Memorial Health System and a local doctor after he was mistreated at Memorial Hospital. Walters went to the hospital complaining of neck pain and numbness is his arms and legs. He was diagnosed with neck strain and discharged. In reality, he was suffering from “a herniated disk that was compressing his spinal cord and causing progressive neurologic injury.” Within hours of leaving the hospital, he was completely paralyzed.
The award, which is the highest award in Colorado’s history of both federal and district cases, gives Walters a “sense of closure” but does not give him the ability to walk again, according to his attorney. In giving Walters such an award, the jury determined that “there were avoidable medical errors that caused Mr. Walters’ paralysis.” The verdict listed both Memorial Health System and the emergency room physician as at-fault parties. Memorial Hospital had settled with Walters prior to the commencement of the trial.
While the doctor’s malpractice insurance will pay the physician’s share of the verdict, Walters will only receive $300,000 of the $10 million portion for pain, suffering, impairment and disfigurement, as the amount is limited by Colorado Law.
Colorado jury awards record $15M in medical malpractice case , www.bizjournal.com August 1, 2012.
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