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Woman Awarded $25.3 Million in Medical Malpractice Case

Lucrecia Guerra2 years ago

A Milwaukee County jury has awarded $25.3 million to a Milwaukee woman who lost all her limbs to amputation due to medical malpractice in 2011. 

About the Medical Malpractice Case

According to the Journal Sentinel, Ascaris Mayo, 53, had a Strep A infection, which causes strep throat. Her case it went undetected, leading to septic shock and, consequently, amputation.

In 2011, Mayo had spent several hours at the hospital being treated for severe abdominal pain, a fast heartbeat, and fever before being discharged and sent to her gynecologist for fibroid problems.

Later that day, Mayo collapsed at home. She was rushed back to the hospital where she was treated for septic shock. The infection was treated, but her limbs were affected and required amputation.

Victim Sues for Medical Malpractice

Lawyers for Mayo doctor and physician’s assistant argued that she received all the medical help possible, according to information available at that time. Mayo’s attorney, however, claimed that Mayo had not been properly advised by her doctor about her symptoms. Otherwise, she would have sought additional treatment. 

The jury found in favor of Mayo, awarding her $23.8 million with $15 million in punitive damages and her husband $1.5 million for punitive damages. There is, however, a chance that the case will be appealed as Wisconsin law limits punitive rewards to $750,000.

Mayo’s attorney claims that there is a significant different between the cap and the punitive damages award that she deserves, and as such, it is with reason to challenge the law. Nevertheless, she will receive more than $8.2 million in past and anticipated healthcare costs which are not subjected to any state caps. 

Change in Law Plays Big Role in Medical Malpractice Cases 

Last year (2013) Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill which does not require doctors to give a full disclosure of treatment options to their patients.

With the new law, there is a noteworthy difference in medical malpractice cases, but this case happened in 2011 before the new litigation was enacted.

According to the jury consultant, jurors felt that patients should be fully informed when seeking medical treatment. At the time of the Mayo’s treatment, her doctors were obligated under the law to fully disclose all medical options.

According to the Journal Sentinel, a set of laws imposed in Wisconsin, including caps and damage awards, have kept a large number of malpractice cases from being filed in Wisconsin, dropping the number by more than 50% since 1999.

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