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Malpractice case leads to verdict of over $7 million

When something goes wrong and a family member seeks medical treatment to fix the problem, you expect that the doctors and other medical professionals will correctly diagnose and treat the problem. You don't consider that their misdiagnosis and/or incorrect treatment protocols could render your loved one an invalid.

Yet, for one family in a neighboring state, that's exactly what happened in October 2013. A retired speech pathologist in Sandusky, Ohio, sought treatment at Firelands Regional Medical Center after falling ill.

The family's attorney claims that the doctors performed tests and brain scans and diagnosed her with a brain tumor. They then prescribed a course of steroids in an attempt to shrink the tumor.

But the woman never had a tumor in her brain — she had an infection in her brain. Without antibiotics to get rid of the infection, the steroids worsened her condition.

Her attorney said, "By them giving her steroids without antibiotics it allowed that infection in the brain, those abscesses to become larger. They got bigger within the brain, they spread to other portions of the brain."

As a result, the woman became almost totally incapacitated. Instead of enjoying her retirement years reading and enjoying the view of Lake Erie with her husband, she now lives permanently in a long-term care facility in northern Ohio. She can no longer use her legs and can only move one of her arms. She is totally dependent on round-the-clock caregivers and will never return home and live with her husband.

As a result, her family sued the two neurologists involved in her treatment at Firelands, as well as their neurology practice, for gross negligence. The case never settled, but after a jury trial, the woman and her family received an award of more than $7 million dollars. A good portion of that sum will cover her past and future medical bills.

If you or a family member is a victim of medical malpractice here in Kentucky, you may need to also take legal action to hold the doctors liable for their negligence.

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