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In Massachusetts and elsewhere, doctors have the responsibility to provide quality care and close monitoring of patients who undergo procedures. Failure to listen to patient concerns and monitor for signs of potential complications can lead to significant harm for patients. This type of doctor error and other missteps can lead to irreparable harm and even patient death, as it did for a young mom.

43-year-old woman underwent surgery to remove a polyp from her colon in 2011. While doing the surgery, the doctor caused a burn injury to another part of her digestive system, but did not realize it at the time. The patient’s post-operative condition was poor. She was in a significant amount of pain and took strong medications to manage her pain levels. 

It took four days after the surgery for the doctor to order an imaging test that revealed the injury. At this point, however, it was too late. The woman, a mother of three children, passed away shortly after due to complications from sepsis. After her death, the husband filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor for his actions that led to her death. 

After only one day of deliberations, the jury awarded the man and his family over $13 million because of the doctor error. Each of her children will receive $3 million and the father will retain the rest. Massachusetts readers will note this large verdict and the quick action of the jury emphasizes the negligence committed by the doctor and medical staff at the hospital where the surgery was done.