For a court case to be successful, both sides are typically represented by attorneys. The plaintiff’s attorney files the suit, naming one or more parties, and those persons hire defense attorneys. Such was not what occurred in a recent medical malpractice case in South Dakota.
According to reports, a man went to a hospital in South Dakota for a heart surgery in 2010. The patient was 21 years old and, during the surgery, air bubbles entered the man’s blood stream. The bubbles entered the blood stream due to an error perpetrated by the surgeon in the case. As a result, the patient was left with neurologic injury.
The man filed suit against the hospital in Rapid City and against the heart surgeon. The surgeon failed to respond to the lawsuit and never hired legal representation. The lawsuit was filed in 2012 and was recently ruled upon by the sitting judge. The patient was awarded $13.49 million. The judgment is thought to be one of the largest in the history of the state.