Prescription Drug

Sometimes even seemingly-innocuous medications can have serious and even potentially fatal side effects. Doctors have an obligation to monitor patients whom they place on medication -- particularly those who are elderly. That's what an Atlanta area jury determined when it awarded $4.7 million in a malpractice case.

Suit: Doctor Failed to Monitor Liver Function

The case involved a 78-year-old woman who had gone to her doctor because she had a discolored toenail. She was prescribed a drug called Nizoral, which can potentially cause liver damage. However, the doctor didn't monitor her liver function during the four-plus months she was taking the medication.

She was hospitalized in January 2014 with liver failure. Although her condition improved temporarily, her liver as well as her kidneys shut down. A few weeks later, she was dead.

Couple Had Been Married Five Decades

The woman's husband of 50 years, whom she met when he was stationed in South Korea with the U.S. Army, filed a $4.9 suit against the doctor who treated her wife and the primary care facility where he worked. The suit was for wrongful death, medical and funeral expenses and pain and suffering.

The couple had moved to the Atlanta area some years ago, where the husband was stationed at Fort McPherson. Although he retired from the Army in 1989, his wife started her own custom-made bathing suit business.

As one of the attorneys for the family said, "Patients should be able to rely on their doctors, and to lose one's life over a discolored nail is simply indefensible."

Final Settlement Reached for Nearly $5 Million

After just 90 minutes of deliberation last month, a jury returned a verdict that awarded the widower $4.7 million. Last week, a final settlement was reached for the original $4.9 million that was sought when the defendants' malpractice insurer agreed to pay the full amount.

It can often be difficult for non-medical professionals to know whether an injury or death was the result of medical negligence or error. That's why people who suspect that they or a loved one may have been the victim of medical malpractice seek the advice of an attorney experienced in the field. Malpractice attorneys have the resources to properly investigate the matter and determine whether there is a valid case for a medical malpractice claim.