$30 Million Awarded to Washington Woman After Surgical Blunder

A woman in North Central Washington who went to the hospital for laser surgery and left unable to speak will receive a total of $30 million after succeeding in her medical malpractice case.

Becky Anderson, 55, was undergoing laser surgery last year at Central Washington Hospital to remove polyps from her vocal chords when “a fire occurred in her throat,” according to a recent report by the Yakima Herald.

Due to the severity of her injuries, Anderson was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle to undergo extensive care and numerous surgeries. She was still a patient there when she filed a lawsuit in May 2012.

Central Washington Hospital settled for $12 million, the Herald reported. A King County jury, meanwhile, awarded her an additional $18 million after findings of negligence on the parts of Wenatchee Valley Medical Center and Wenatchee Anesthesia Associates.

‘A Failure on Multiple Levels’

178505066How could such a tragic incident occur? In a statement reported to the Herald, an administrative doctor called it “a failure on multiple levels.”

A fire requires an ignition source, something to burn and oxygen. When the surgeon’s laser came into contact with the tube in Anderson’s airway, it appears the breathing tube supplied the oxygen and the laser supplied the ignition. The result was a catastrophic, life-altering event.

The procedure, which should have taken only 10 minutes, resulted in Anderson spending the next 6 months on a ventilator. She still requires assistance breathing and will continue to require long-term care.

Shared Liability

This case demonstrates how complex medical malpractice cases can be. Often times, there are several responsible parties involved who contribute to a single event. In this case, 4 entities were named in the lawsuit:

The jury in this case assigned fault to the first three, but determined that the manufacturer, Medtronic, was not negligent.

Contact Us

Medical malpractice lawsuits are very complex. At Perey Law Group, we specialize in  these cases, and we have the knowledge and experience necessary to win compensation for the victims of medical negligence.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, please contact us immediately. We provide a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our attorneys to discuss your legal options.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *