On June 20, 2009, a man who had suffered from a psychiatric condition was taken to a hospital because he had become very disoriented from not taking his medication. While the man was being admitted to the hospital, a patient-care assistant restrained the man and sedated the patient. However, it took several hours for hospital workers to realize that the patient-care assistant had broken the man’s neck when restraining the patient.
The patient is currently living in a nursing home because he suffered paralysis injuries from the incident. Over the years, the man has regained the use of his hands and arms. However, the man is still not able to use his legs. After suffering his injuries, the man filed a lawsuit against the parent company of the hospital he was treated and injured at. The man’s case went to trial over a month ago, and last week, the man learned that he will finally recover compensation for his severe and disabling injuries.
According to the patient’s lawsuit, the patient-care assistant had used excessive force when restraining the patient. As a result, the patient’s cervical spine was severely injured. Since the man had been sedated, hospital workers did not notice that the man was injured until his sedation had worn off. Surgery was performed to repair the man’s broken neck, but the man is still suffering from his injuries today.
Last week, a jury awarded the man $2.8 million for his injuries. The patient said that he plans on using part of the award to make his home handicapped-accessible. The man has been living in a nursing home to accommodate his injuries. He now plans to move back home.
When hospitals, doctors and other medical professionals are responsible for causing patients to suffer permanent injuries, patients need to be compensated. Compensation for injuries may give patients the resources they need to minimize the negative impacts disabling injuries may have on their lives.
Source: The Columbus Dispatch, “Man wins $2.8M over broken neck at hospital,” John Futty, May 4, 2013