TN Jury Awards Record $12M In Med Mal Brain Injury Case

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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A Tennessee woman who was left permanently brain damaged after a routine colonoscopy went wrong was recently awarded a record $12 million. It is thought to be one of the largest verdicts of this type in the state’s history.

Tennessee medical malpractice

This Tennessee medical malpractice case involves a brain injury that simply should never have occurred. According to news reports, 30-year old Kristen Freeman went to her doctor’s office complaining of unusual bowel symptoms. Her doctor, Michael Goodman, recommended a colonoscopy and upper endoscopy, which Kristen underwent. Before the procedures, Kristen told Goodman that she had Ehlers Danlos disease, which is a connective tissue disorder.

During the procedures, the doctor tore part of Kristen’s small intestines, but was released. She called Goodman later that day complaining of severe pain, nausea and blood in her stool. Instead of telling her to go to the emergency room, Goodman’s office recommended a suppository. Kristen complied, but called again the next morning saying that her condition had worsened. Goodman’s office then told her to go to the ER. She did, but while waiting to be treated, Kristen suffered cardiopulmonary arrest and was left with permanent brain injuries.

She filed a lawsuit against the doctor and was awarded $12 million in damages in one of the largest verdicts of this type in Tennessee. Her medical malpractice attorney was able to show that, although the doctor denied it, he did know about Kristen’s pre-existing condition and that he should have told Kristen to go to the emergency room sooner.

Biggest medical malpractice myth

Although Kristen’s case involved a doctor, one of the biggest myths is that medical malpractice claims can only be filed against doctors. However, nurses, nurse’s aides, physician assistants, lab workers – virtually anyone whose job requires a license – can also be held liable for medical malpractice. Whenever you’re in doubt about whether you might have a medical malpractice claim, always contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney to discuss your situation, even if it’s just to evaluate your options. You may be entitled to money compensation for your injuries.

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