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Judgment leads to $28.9 million in malpractice damages

Iowa residents may be wise to seek a second opinion when their doctors are unable to remedy their underlying health issues and claim that little more can be done. A Missouri woman who spent five months pleading with her physician to run additional tests was left incapacitated because the delay allowed an undetected and potentially deadly disease to worsen. The woman subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit, and a jury recently awarded her $28.9 million in damages after determining that the medical facility involved had acted negligently.

The woman originally reported symptoms that included severe fatigue, panic attacks and tremors. Doctors told the woman that she was suffering from anxiety and depression, but both she and her family believed that something else lay at the root of her persistent health problems. She claimed in her lawsuit that her doctors responded with ambivalence when she told them that her symptoms were getting more severe, and months passed before her condition worsened to the point where neurological tests were ordered.

Those tests revealed that the woman was suffering from Wilson's disease, but they were not performed in time to prevent her from suffering catastrophic injuries. According to reports, the woman will never regain her ability to walk and must receive her food through a feeding tube. Wilson's disease is a rare condition that causes copper to accumulate in the body, and it can be fatal if left untreated.

The damages awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits may be high when patients have been left permanently disabled. The costs of providing medical care for years or even decades can be prohibitive. An attorney with experience in this area may consult with specialists before calculating damages in such a case to ensure that the amount sought will be sufficient to cover all of their client's future medical expenses.

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