New York jury awards family $34 million in medical malpractice suit

New York jury awards family $34 million in medical malpractice suitIn January 2004, Diane Manganiello was taken to a hospital in Port Jarvis, New York, needing treatment for her low-sodium level, and upon her release, allegedly had a brain injury that left her with limited physical movement and speech capabilities. Now, the family has been awarded $34 million by an Orange County, New York jury, the New Jersey Star-Ledger reports.

According to the news source, Manganiello's husband, Andrew, drives to Milford, Pennsylvania, every Saturday to pick up his wife from a rehabilitation center to bring her home to her five children and to talk and pass notes. Even though she cannot live at home anymore, Andrew Manganiello says "she's still the same sweetheart."

Before the alleged botched procedure, Diane suffered from a condition known as hyponatremia, which the National Library of Medicine calls "a metabolic condition in which there is not enough sodium (salt) in the body fluids outside the cells," and can be easily treated through the use of fluids through an IV.

The media outlet states that patients with hyponatremia should have their sodium levels raised slowly, at a rate of about 10 to 12 units over 24 hours. Manganiello's sodium levels were reportedly raised extremely fast, at 27 units in a 14 hour period, which caused brain damage that could not be repaired.

And although the award will pay for 24-hour care that will let Diane once again live at home, Andrew Manganiello says that the justice is "not over yet."

Manganiello lost his job at a Morristown printing company due to the amount of time he spent at the hospital everyday, and the attorneys representing Bon Secours Community Hospital, as well as the doctor and nurse being sued, have filed for an appeal, and the due money may not be paid anytime soon, the news provider stated.

Manganiello contended that the hospital, doctor and nurse who allegedly gave his wife too much sodium too quickly should be held responsible for their decision. The jury accepted the contention in part due to the tests that showed Diane Manganiello did not suffer from encephalitis, which the defense had stated was the actual cause of the brain damage.

According to the National Library of Medicine, encephalitis is an irritation and swelling of the brain that is most commonly associated with infection. Manganiello tested negative for infections associated with encephalitis.

Andrew Manganiello says he and his family are doing what they can to return to normalcy.