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Infections can cause death, liability claims following surgery

When a surgical procedure goes awry, a patient in West Virginia may, unfortunately, end up losing his or her life. Sometimes, the loss of life occurs following surgeries due to infections. In another state, that state's supreme court recently affirmed a jury's verdict for a whopping $3.8 million against a physician following a female patient's death. The woman died after undergoing a liposuction procedure.

The 27-year-old woman underwent the procedure, which involved fat transfer and liposuction, back in 2010. She died just a few days later as a result of septic shock. The septic shock was caused by bacteria.

The woman's husband filed a liability claim against the doctor, alleging wrongful death. In 2014, a jury awarded the man economic damages totaling an estimated $2.5 million as well as non-economic damages totaling $1.3 million. The owner of the laser practice that was sued, who is an anesthesiologist, appealed with multiple challenges, but the supreme court determined that substantial evidence was available to support the jury verdict.

When patients in West Virginia undergo surgery and, subsequently, suffer from infections that lead to their deaths, their surviving loved ones may be entitled to receive monetary damages. The surviving family members have the right to file liability claims against the allegedly at-fault medical providers. Liability needs to be established, based upon a showing of negligence, before any claims for financial damages will be adjudicated. Monetary compensation cannot restore the life of a loved one, but it may help the person's grieving family members to more easily move on.

Source:, "Idaho Supreme Court Affirms $3.8M Verdict in Liposuction Death", Aug. 10, 2016

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