Maryland Medical Malpractice Lawyers: Anesthesiologist Ordered to Pay $500,000August 3, 2015
A Virginia man has been awarded $500,000 after learning that he was mocked and ridiculed by medical staff while undergoing a surgical procedure. An audio recording captured the cruel exchange between the anesthesiologist, gastroenterologist and medical assistant as the sedated man underwent a colonoscopy, unaware of the verbal attack being launched at him.
The man had originally intended to only record the post-op instructions from his doctors. He hit record on his smartphone and placed it into his pocket, not knowing that his clothes and other personal items would be in the operating room with him. When he played back the recording on his way home, he was shocked to hear the torrent of insults thrown at him as he lay defenseless on the operating table.
Dr. Tiffany Ingham, then part of the Aisthesis anesthesia practice in Bethesda, Maryland, was working at the Reston, Virginia medical suite the day the man’s colonoscopy was being performed. Shortly after he drifted off to sleep, Ingham and others in the room began a vicious tirade of insults and name-calling directed at the man, calling him “annoying”, a “big wimp” and a “retard.” Ingham even went so far as to tell the sleeping man that she wanted to punch him in the face. She also jokingly remarked that a rash the man had might be syphilis or tuberculosis.
Perhaps even more disturbing, the doctors were recorded making jokes about the false diagnosis they were going to include in his medical chart and discussed how to avoid the man after the surgery. The doctors wrote that the man had hemorrhoids on his medical chart when in fact he did not, and instructed an assistant to lie to him.
The unfortunate victim, who understandably chose to keep his identity private, sued the medical staff for defamation and medical malpractice. According to the lawsuit, the man reported that he was verbally brutalized and suffered anxiety, embarrassment and loss of sleep for several months as a result of his ordeal. After a three-day trial, a Fairfax jury sided with the man, awarding him $200,000 for medical malpractice, $100,000 for defamation – $50,000 each for the comments about the man having syphilis and tuberculosis – and $200,000 in punitive damages.
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For more than 30 years, Maryland medical malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton have been fighting for those who have suffered harm at the hands of a medical professional. To discuss a possible claim with one of our highly seasoned and compassionate Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers, contact us online or call our toll free number at 800-547-4LAW (4529) to schedule a free consultation.
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