Verdict in St. John’s Health Center Medical Malpractice Trial

The highly publicized medical malpractice case of St. Johns Health Center has finally come to a conclusion. The case involves the elder abuse and general neglect of Ida Waksberg, an 89 year old female patient during a stay in 2009.  A 12 man jury, sworn in on August 18, unanimously found no fault in the hospitals care. Many years of languishing in trial finally saw this case to West District Superior Court located in Santa Monica, where it proceeded to conclusion in a two week trial.

In the initial complaint, the patient’s son filed a case citing inadequate healthcare for his ailing mother when she was admitted in 2009 for hypertension and chest pains and seeking $1.5 million in damages. The plaintiff, the patient’s son, explained that his mother was admitted on a fairly routine visit complaining of pain and discomfort due to chest pains and hypertension. She was admitted for one day for observation. She suffered a fall the day before her discharge and was required to stay for additional medical attention. During the stay she developed a urinary tract infection. A short time later she developed a fatal staph infection. The staph infection developed into endocarditis, eventually travelling to her spine and developing into osteomyelitis.

The plaintiff declared the patients injuries to be a result of the attending nurses negligent care. The hospital claimed all care provided the patient was of the utmost in medical care. With help from nursing and infectious disease experts, the hospital was able to prove they were not negligent. Once deliberation commenced, the jury took only a few hours to reach a verdict.

Cases like this one are increasing across the country at a steady pace. If you feel as if you have experience medical malpractice make sure to document as much evidence, as soon as possible.  It is important to take photos, obtain witness testimony as well as names and address of potential witnesses. Acquiring evidence as soon as possible is imperative. These cases can take years upon years to come to fruition and evidence can become lost over the years.

The most important thing to remember is be aware of your legal rights where medical malpractice is concerned, even if it means consulting an attorney. Statistics show that medical malpractice clients who consult with an attorney receive higher settlement amounts. Medical malpractice can devastate entire lives. Victims of this type of crime must be fully compensated to recover even apportion of their previous life. Responsible lawyers spend years obtaining the knowledge it takes to makes sure their clients receive everything they are entitled too. Defense lawyers are adamant in their struggle to save doctors and hospitals the incredible fees associated with medical malpractice. 

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