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Jury Awards $6 M in Ohio Medical Malpractice Suit

A Montgomery County jury in Dayton, Ohio awarded $6 million to a plaintiff in a medical malpractice suit last Friday, according to WDTN.

Misdiagnosis Results in Death

According to lawyers representing the family, 34-year-old Karla Fountaine was under the care of a doctor at Good Samaritan Hospital while she was pregnant in 2009 when she died.

In February of 2009, Fountaine became ill with a cough, headaches, unusual weight gain, and increased blood pressure. Fountaine was admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with classic pre-eclampsia. No obstetrical consultation was requested and Fountaine was sent home.

Fountaine was readmitted to Good Samaritan in March with extremely high blood pressure, headaches, and vomiting. Family lawyers say that a nurse later found her unconscious, prompting an emergency C-section to save the baby. The baby survived, but Fountaine continued to deteriorate and died in the hospital.

Details of the Lawsuit and Verdict

The family filed a malpractice suit against Dr. Cheryl Gill claiming that Fountaine died after physicians and hospital staff failed to diagnose both pre-eclampsia and eclampsia over the course of the pregnancy and her time in the hospital under the care of Good Samaritan Hospital and Dr. Cheryl Gill.

After four hours of testimony, the jury awarded a verdict of $6,067,830 to Fountaine’s widower. Lawyers for the widower say this is one of the largest verdicts ever awarded against a physician in Dayton.

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