Florida Woman Awarded a $15.9 Million Medical Malpractice Verdict


This is a rather large medical malpractice verdict in Florida over a very preventable injury.  It is important for everyone through the county, including in New York, to be aware of this result and outcome to protect your own rights.  It can also be used to help your own case.

In November 2008, Stephanie Hollingsworth went to the hospital with pain in her hands and feet resulting from a flare-up of lupus.  She was admitted for an inflammation of the blood vessels called vasculitis.  Since there was no room in the intensive care unit, she was provided a bed in the cardiac care unit.

The doctor put Hollingsworth on steroids after a rheumatology consult was ordered.  However an immunosuppressant was not prescribed which was necessary to treat the inflammation-causing complication that could result in irreversible damage.

After days of tests, Hollingsworth began to have trouble controlling her feet.  A skin biopsy showed necrotizing vasculitis.  Even though a spot was open in the ICU, Hollingsworth was not moved, nor was she given the immunosuppressant until she was transferred to another hospital.  By that time she was near death.

After receiving the immunosuppressant, Hollingsworth’s pain was alleviated.  However her fingers and toes has already turned black and shriveled due to gangrene.  Nine of her toes needed to be amputated, part of her left foot, the thumb on her right hand and the tips of two fingers.  She now needs to use prosthetics and is not able to walk or stand for more than a half hour.

The hospital’s attorneys argued, successfully, that any blame was solely that of the rheumatologist.  The doctor argued that her failure to administer the immunosuppressant was due to the risk of infection.  Hollingsworth’s attorneys argued that if such an infection is preventable or treatable, then doctors are supposed to provide the medication.

Ultimately, the doctor was found solely liable for the medical malpractice verdict, while the hospital won a finding of no fault.  This verdict is the conclusion of a long legal battle for the failure of a doctor to provide a patient with the medication she needed with significantly life altering results.

This medical malpractice verdict in Florida is huge–but rightfully owed to a victim very hurt.

But what do you think?  I would love to hear from you!  Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at jfisher@fishermalpracticelaw.com.  You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.