What happened? The 30-year-old man had facial surgery at Mount Carmel West hospital in May 2010. He had been injured in a traffic crash just two weeks before, and prior to the surgery, he was complaining about severe headaches. Despite this, he was cleared to go into surgery. The 30-year-old never woke up from the surgery and died a week later.
It was later found that the man had suffered a subdural hematoma. It had expanded, and when the surgery was completed, the extra pressure led to brain death. Had the man had a CT scan prior to his surgery as a result of his complaints, a surgical burr hole would have been drilled to relieve pressure. If that had been done, his family alleges that he would have lived.
It was claimed that the poor communication between nurses and doctors, among others, led to the man’s death. The jury agreed that the man’s death was due to negligence and awarded the family a $1.8 million payout. Of that, $900,000 was for the loss of companionship for his parents and two sisters, and another $900,000 was for mental anguish.
Ohio tort-reform laws typically kick in and reduces the total amount people are allowed to be awarded in cases like this, but the laws don’t apply in wrongful death cases. Because of that, there is no cap on the damages the family was able to receive.