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Florida Supreme Court Upholds Palm Beach Widow’s $10.3 Million Malpractice Award

A medical mistake cost Nadine Raphael’s husband his life. In 2003, Raphael’s husband, a patient at Palms West Hospital, suffered irrevocable heart damage when he was not given the anti-clotting drug Retavase while suffering a heart attack. He later died from the heart attack.

Raphael filed a medical malpractice suit two years after her husband’s death and asked for the damage award to include compensation for her pain and suffering. She was awarded $10.3 million dollars for her loss. Lawyers instantly appealed the decision because three months after Raphael’s husband died, the Florida Legislature placed a $1 million cap on the amount juries can award in medical malpractice cases. The new law caps pain and suffering awards at $150,000 per person. The lawyers argued over whether the new law would apply to Raphael’s case. Raphael’s lawyers argued that the law was inapplicable to her case because it was not in effect when her husband died. Lawyers for Dr. James Schecter, the emergency room physician who cared for Raphael’s husband, argued that the law should apply because the law was in effect when Raphael filed her case two years after her husband’s death. In 2009, the Fourth District Court of Appeal refused to allow the law to be applied retroactively and upheld the award for Raphael. The Florida Supreme Court also upheld the $10.3 million award, referencing an earlier decision in which it refused to apply a law retroactively.

Unfortunately, because Dr. Schecter has a $1 million limit on his insurance policy Raphael will not get her award right away. Her attorneys plan to file a bad faith claim against Dr. Shecter’s insurer, claiming that the insurance company should have settled the case before trial and because it failed to do so, should pay out the entire $10.3 million award.

Supreme Court lets stand $10.3 million award in Palm Beach County medical malpractice case, November 9, 2011.

Nadine Raphael lost her husband because of a doctor’s oversight and the courts did their best to ensure she was adequately compensated for her loss. Every day, doctors, hospitals and other medical providers make oversights that can result in life-changing injuries and even death. The Miami medical malpractice lawyers at the Friedland | Carmona are dedicated to helping victims of medical malpractice and helping families whose loved ones suffered a wrongful death recover the compensation they deserve. Jonathan R. Friedland and Michael J. Carmona have over twenty years of combined experience handling these types of cases. Don’t fall victim to someone else’s negligence. Call (305) 661-2008 today for your free consultation!

The Miami medical malpractice lawyers at the Friedland | Carmona handle all types of medical malpractice injuries throughout the state of Florida, including Boca Raton, Homestead, North Miami, South Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Pembroke Pines, Hialeah, Kendall, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach. The Friedland | Carmona handles all types of personal injury cases, including wrongful death, defective products, motor vehicle accidents, slip and falls and construction site injuries. Call the Miami personal injury attorneys at (305) 661-2008 for your free consultation. Call today and let our family take care of your family!

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