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Jury awards millions in medical malpractice lawsuit

While pregnant women in Massachusetts happily anticipate the moment they will meet the new addition to their family, many people overlook the potential outcomes of a pregnancy. In addition to the regular effects of a pregnancy, some pregnant women suffer complications that may place their own life, as well as the life of their unborn babies, at risk. In a recent medical malpractice lawsuit, one woman and her husband claim that the woman suffered a stroke after a doctor advised her not to go to a hospital.

According to court papers, the woman was 26 weeks pregnant when she began experiencing a severe headache and extreme pains in her abdomen. Although she contacted her doctor's office, she claims that the doctor on call suggested that she was likely suffering from a gastric-related issue and advised that there was no need to go to the hospital. Unfortunately, the woman suffered a stroke the next day.

The baby was successfully born by Cesarean section. However, the mother argues that she is dealing with the ongoing effects of the stroke as a result of what she describes as medical malpractice. The doctor argued that the woman's pregnancy was uncomplicated until that point, and she had no reason to expect such an outcome based on her symptoms. A jury agreed with the patient and her husband, awarding them almost $11 million in damages.

While the average patient typically trusts his or her doctor, a pregnant woman is placing her life -- as well as the life of her unborn child -- in the doctor's care. A misdiagnosis can easily have devastating consequences. Anyone in Massachusetts who has been a victim of medical malpractice has the option of seeking legal recourse just as these people have. While a civil case could result in an award of damages to help with past and future losses caused by the negligence, it could also help protect future patients.

Source: toledoblade.com, "Jury awards $10.9M in malpractice suit", Jennifer Feehan, Jan. 16, 2015

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