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Maximum Amount Awareded in West Virginia Case

A Federal Judge, Irene Berger, recently awarded a woman and her husband the maximum medical malpractice amount allowed by West Virginia state law. The couple was awarded $672,681.67, according to court documents.

Sara Lambert Smith gave birth to her first child in 2013. She returned to the hospital five days after giving birth because she was experiencing heavy bleeding. Smith’s child was delivered via c-section, but her bleeding was from her vagina. She was admitted to the emergency room and was ordered to undergo a dilation and curettage. She was also scheduled for a possible hysterectomy if doctors were not able to stop the bleeding.

Smith advised her doctor, Ray Wolfe, that she intended to have more children, but signed for the procedure under the impression that the hysterectomy would not be necessary. Despite knowing that Smith wanted more children in the future, Wolfe performed the hysterectomy without attempting to stop Smith’s bleeding by any other means following the unsuccessful dilation and curettage.

As noted by the judge, other options would have been “uterine massage, additional uteronics (which promote contraction in different ways), balloon tamponade, open uterine massage, bilateral O’Leary stitches, bilateral hypogastric ligation…” and more. The judge said that it would not have taken the doctor more than a few minutes per alternate procedure. The judge further deemed that Smith would have had a 25 percent or higher chance of keeping her uterus had the doctor attempted any other methods of stopping the bleeding.

Doctor Wolfe was found to have acted recklessly in the case.

If you believe that you have been harmed or injured at the hands of a negligent doctor in New York, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries. Call our team of medical malpractice attorneys today and discover the options available to you under current state law.