Colorado woman awarded $3.9 million in medical malpractice suit

Colorado woman awarded $3.9 million in medical malpractice suitA woman from Fort Collins, Colorado, has won a $3.9 million medical malpractice lawsuit, which she filed against a regional physician claiming he was responsible for her condition, The Coloradoan reports.

According to the media outlet, Krissy Myatt suffered a hemorrhagic stroke in 2006, which left her family devastated and later led to the largest sum ever awarded in Larimer County.

“It was complete devastation,” said her husband, Shannon Myatt. The brain lesion’s effects were so severe that he and his kids “didn’t know if she was going to make it,” he said.

The news provider states that in December 2006, Myatt was admitted to the emergency room at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins with a severe headache and extremely high blood pressure. She had previously been receiving treatment for multiple sclerosis, which includes heavy doses of steroids that have been linked to high blood pressure.

According to the lawsuit, the physician allegedly misdiagnosed Myatt’s brain bleeds as a migraine, and provided her with a painkiller prescription and discharged her from the hospital.

“The next morning, I didn’t have a headache anymore,” Krissy said. “But I couldn’t walk or talk.”

She was then taken back to the same hospital in an ambulance.

Last fall, a month-long jury trial concluded that Dr. Jeffrey Updegaff was negligent through medical malpractice, and that payment would be required by his insurer COPIC Insurance Co. Poudre Valley Hospital was determined to be not negligent, and the jurors stated the emergency room doctors were also not negligent, as they are not direct employees of the hospital, but contract workers.

The payment was given to Myatt after his request for a new trial was denied, court records show.

“It was a struggle,” said the Myatts’ medical malpractice attorney, adding that the award is “going to make things much easier for her. … We’re pretty happy.”

For the first month after the stroke, Myatt was confined to a wheelchair, and years later still has paralysis in the entire right side of her body.

According to the National Library of Medicine, hemorrhagic stroke is one of two types of strokes, and occurs when a blood vessel in part of the brain weakens and bursts, resulting in blood leakage into the brain. A number of tests are available to determine if a stroke has occurred, and if immediate treatment is provided, can reduce disability.