Jury Finds UPMC Guilty Of Medical Malpractice; Awards Patient $5M For Gross Overdose

A Pennsylvania jury has found the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) guilty of medical malpractice after hospital staff gave a patient eight times the amount of medication needed and left her with permanent brain damage. The patient was awarded $5 million.

Pennsylvania medical malpractice

According to news reports, 59 year old Mary Ellen Pfeifer was diagnosed with an electrolyte and sodium deficiency in 2006. She was admitted to UPMC where staff planned on slowly correcting her deficiency. However, she was accidentally given eight times the medication she required. This caused Pfeifer to suffer permanent brain damage and she now has impaired speech, difficulty walking, requires in-home health care and can no longer work. She sued UPMC for medical malpractice and a jury awarded her $5 million for the hospital’s seemingly gross medical care. The award will allow Pfeifer to stay in her home and receive future medical care.

Medical malpractice claims aren’t limited to the aged

Medical malpractice claims in Pennsylvania are certainly not limited to the aged. In fact, a Pennsylvania jury recently awarded the family of a seven-year old boy $20.5 million in a medical malpractice lawsuit involving a birth injury. It is estimated to be the largest single medical malpractice verdict in northeastern Pennsylvania.

In that case, staff at a PA hospital realized that the unborn child was not receiving enough oxygen to his brain. However, instead of acting immediately, staff waited nearly two hours before performing a Cesarean (“C”) section – the result being that the child was born mentally retarded, has cerebral palsy, is nearly totally blind and cannot walk or talk. Although now seven, he allegedly functions on the level of a six to nine month old.

If you or a family member have been injured due to a hospital’s negligence, contact an experienced Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorney to discuss your situation and determine what options may be available to you. Consultations are free, without obligation and are strictly confidential.