A Southern California jury has awarded a 22-year-old woman with severe brain injuries $12 million in damages in her lawsuit against a hospital for negligence, the Washington Post reports.
In September 2007, the woman was hit in the head with an air-rifle pellet. She went to the emergency room under her own power, where she apparently waited five hours before being flown by helicopter to a Pasadena hospital for surgery. The lawyer for the woman’s family convinced the jury that her “minimally conscious” condition could have been avoided if the pellet was surgically removed from her brain more promptly.
Bleeding and pressure on Ramirez’s brain caused permanent damage and she now requires 24-hour care, [her attorney] said.
The neurosurgeon who finally operated on her at Huntington Hospital testified that her outcome would have been better if they had been able to operate sooner…
The woman is now in a vegetative state, but hospital officials insist that emergency room staff acted properly, and that they plan to appeal the verdict. The judgment is on hold while the appeal is pending in the court system.
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