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Hospital Disputes Jury Decision in Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Thousands of patients are injured or killed yearly due to medical negligence. When victims seek justice it usually takes years. Even when a settlement is reached, the fight for justice may not be over. Hospitals will, often times, deny the allegations and file an appeal.

HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley may file an appeal in a $4.6 million wrongful death verdict by a state Supreme Court jury.

In February 2011, a 63-year-old man went to the emergency room of Kingston Hospital, currently known as the HealthAlliance Hospital Broadway Campus, with severe pains. He was admitted and doctors performed preliminary blood tests. Despite the doctors suspecting pancreatitis, additional testing was not performed, “and they completely failed to diagnose a more dangerous condition: sepsis,” according to the family’s attorney. Less than 36 hours after being admitted to the hospital, the man was dead as a result of a severe infection. He left behind a wife and son.

The family chose to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. The case went before a New York Supreme Court jury which found both doctors and the Kingston Hospital responsible for the man’s death. The hospital and primary care doctor were each found 33 percent responsible. The gastroenterologist, who was called in as a consultant on the man’s condition was found 34 percent responsible. In response to the verdict, HealthAlliance said: “We disagree with the jury’s verdict and will make a motion to set it aside. We also reserve the option to file an appeal.”

A medical mistake took a man’s life; a family was stripped of a loved one. Five years later the case settled, but the fight may continue. Why? Rather than admitting fault and learning from their mistakes, the hospital will most likely drag this family through more pain and suffering.
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