In this country, the quality of medical care that people are provided is, sadly, often linked to how much money they have. People with considerable wealth can afford the best doctors, treatments, medications and facilities that are out of the question financially for most of us.
However, as we saw two years ago with comedienne Joan Rivers, wealth doesn’t always guarantee good medical care. Rivers died after what was supposed to be a routine out-patient procedure called an endoscopy went wrong, causing a lack of oxygen and brain damage. Her family won a wrongful death suit against the Manhattan clinic where the procedure was performed and some of the medical personnel involved in the procedure.
Other famous people with enough resources to seemingly get the best care available have also been victims of medical malpractice. Julie Andrews’ singing career was essentially ended after a 1997 operation damaged her vocal cords. The surgery was being done to remove nodules from her throat. She reached a settlement with the doctor three years later.
In 1998, when comedian Dana Carvey underwent double bypass heart surgery, the surgeon operated on the wrong artery. He reached a settlement with the heart surgeon, which he then donated to charity. He told the press that the suit “was about accountability and doing everything I could to make sure that it wouldn’t happen to someone else.”
Many people may not remember this, but famed artist Andy Warhol died in 1987 just two days after having surgery to repair a hernia and remove gallstones. The hospital settled with his estate four years later.
We hear a lot about the dangers of healthcare-associated infections, or HAIs, which patients can contract at medical facilities if proper precautions aren’t taken. That’s how legendary sportscaster Dick Schaap died. He had hip replacement surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York in 2001, which is when he contracted an HAI. He died several months later. His family received an award of nearly $2 million in that case.
Even routine surgeries can go horribly wrong for any number of reasons. It may be difficult, if not impossible, for a victim or surviving family members to find out what really happened and if it could have been prevented. Experienced Connecticut medical malpractice attorneys know how to work to get all of the necessary information to determine whether medical personnel and/or facilities should be held legally responsible.
Source: The Pop Tort, “Medical Malpractice: When Money Can’t Save Them,” May 19, 2016