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Woman Awarded $25 Million in Malpractice Trial After Leg Amputation

Woman's leg amputated due to misdiagnosis.

A Connecticut jury awarded a young local woman, Virginia Schneider, nearly $25 million in a medical malpractice case. After a lengthy, five-week trial, the jury came to a decision. They found that a vascular surgeon on call at a local hospital, Dr. Marsel Huribal, failed to diagnose a blot clot in Schneider’s leg in a timely manner – ultimately leading to her leg being amputated below the knee.

Virginia Schneider, the plaintiff in the medical malpractice lawsuit, initially sought treatment for an asthma attack at Griffin Hospital in Derby, Connecticut. While at the hospital, emergency room doctors noted concerns about the numbness and pain Schneider reportedly felt in her leg.

Schneider was just 18 years old at the time – a recent high school graduate and a talented basketball and volleyball player. A highly motivated young woman, she was already taking college classes and working at the time of the incident. Tragically, Schneider’s life would change forever due to medical malpractice.

How Medical Malpractice Contributed to a Preventable Amputation

While Schneider was at the hospital for asthma treatment, doctors performed a diagnostic test that revealed a blood clot in Schneider’s leg. Because the small community hospital did not have a vascular surgeon on staff, hospital personnel called an on-call specialist for assistance – Dr. Huribal from the Southern Connecticut Vascular Center of Trumbull, Connecticut.

Rather than coming to the hospital to see his patient, Dr. Huribal ordered another test by phone. He also scheduled an appointment to see Schneider at his office three days later. In light of her acute condition, Schneider’s lawyers said she should have been admitted to the hospital that day for further observation, testing, and treatment. However, she was sent home, where her condition worsened.

In her lawsuit, Schneider alleged that physicians at Griffin Hospital failed to diagnose and treat the blood clot properly. When she returned to the hospital for treatment, her left leg required a surgical amputation below the knee. According to Schneider’s lawyers, hospital staff diagnosed her correctly in the sense that they identified an arterial clot. Still, her doctors – primarily the on-call vascular specialist – failed to diagnose the severity of her condition and respond appropriately.

How a Medical Malpractice Case Resulted in a $25 Million Verdict

After Schneider lost part of her leg due to amputation, she endured a lengthy hospital stay and underwent extensive rehabilitation. During her recovery, Schneider experienced depression, social isolation, and general pain and suffering. She also experienced significant pain and limitations after her recovery, making simple tasks burdensome and preventing her from fully enjoying her life.

Schneider sued the Southern Connecticut Vascular Center, Dr. Huribal, and Griffin Hospital in her medical malpractice lawsuit. In her complaint, Schneider alleged that she was permanently deprived of her quality and enjoyment of life and a significant portion of her lifetime earning capacity.

Before the trial, Schneider demanded $1 million from Dr. Huribal to settle the case. The doctor refused to agree to this sum, which was ultimately a costly mistake. A Connecticut jury awarded Schneider $24.9 million in damages, including $4.2 million for economic damages. These are measurable losses with exact dollar amounts, like medical expenses.

The other $20.7 million was for non-economic damages, which are subjective losses without specific values. Schneider was awarded compensation for non-economic damages like the pain and suffering she endured due to the amputation and subsequent treatment.

The jury found that Dr. Huribal was 60 percent at fault for Schneider’s injuries and related losses. It also found the Southern Connecticut Vascular Center negligent. Schneider reached a settlement with Griffin Hospital for an undisclosed amount as well.

How a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Can Help

Medical malpractice cases are complex because they involve not only legal issues but also complex medical issues and standards. There are also multiple defendants in many malpractice lawsuits because several medical providers typically treat the same patient – and each could share responsibility for malpractice-related injuries. Juggling numerous cases against various providers is no easy task.

When you file a medical malpractice lawsuit, you must prove that a provider’s actions or inaction constitute medical negligence. Satisfying this burden of proof often requires help from a qualified medical expert who can review and evaluate medical records and identify mistakes made by the various medical providers. Experts can explain what happened and then offer their opinions on what the provider should have done instead.

Although Schneider’s jury award is a big win for medical malpractice victims everywhere, medical malpractice lawsuits are still tricky because you must prove medical negligence – which is hard to identify and even harder to prove. For this reason, you need help from an experienced medical malpractice lawyer if you have a claim against a negligent provider.

When you work with The Law Offices of Dr. Michael M. Wilson, M.D., J.D. & Associates, you have the benefit of representation from an experienced malpractice lawyer who is also a physician. With his medical and legal degrees, Dr. Wilson can pursue the compensation you deserve for malpractice-related losses. Our practice is solely devoted to medical malpractice cases, so you can count on our extensive knowledge and experience when you come to us for help.

Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer for Help Today

If you got hurt because of a medical provider’s negligence, the attorneys at The Law Offices of Dr. Michael M. Wilson, M.D., J.D. & Associates understand what you are going through and want to help. Founding attorney Michael W. Wilson has both a medical degree and a law degree, which helps him analyze these cases from both perspectives. Over our more than 30 years in practice, we have secured over $100 million in compensation for deserving clients like you.

Call us today for a free case review. You won’t pay any legal fees unless we recover money for you. We look forward to the opportunity to speak with you.

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