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Tom Rhodes Law Firm P.C. Secures $7.75 Million Jury Verdict for Mistreated ICU Patient

Close to $8 million has been awarded by a jury to a New Mexico medical malpractice claim plaintiff in a case that was co-counseled by Attorneys Tom Rhodes and Robert Brzezinski of Tom Rhodes Law Firm P.C. and Attorneys McGinn and Montoya of McGinn, Carpenter, Montoya & Love, P.A. The lawsuit (Case No. D-202-cv-2012-04942) originated in 2012 after the plaintiff, Mr. Webb, suffered a severe pressure ulcer as a result of Presbyterian Hospital – Albuquerque’s failure to reposition him while in the intensive care unit. The ulcer was so extensive that it eroded through several layers of tissue, ultimately reaching his sacral bone and causing extreme pain and lingering discomfort.

The $7.75 million jury award included a $4 million award to Webb for his own compensatory damages, a $1.5 million compensatory damage award to Webb’s wife, Tammy Lee Bruyere, and a punitive damage award to both plaintiffs of $2.25 million.

After a week of testimony, the jury found that the Presbyterian Intensive Care Unit was negligent in its care for Webb while he was unconscious and unable to reposition or care for himself. Mr. Webb’s attorneys presented evidence that showed the hospital group did not maintain or enforce an acceptable standard of training with regard to preventing pressure ulcers. The hospital’s own policy and procedure states that a patient must be turned and repositioned at least once every two hours, yet the documentation indicated that Webb would often not be moved for several hours at a time. Because of Presbyterian’s failure to follow its own policies and the standard of care, a serious skin wound formed on Mr. Webb’s sacrum within days of his arrival to the hospital. Furthermore, it took another five days after the ulcer was detected by hospital staff for a Presbyterian Hospital wound care team member to institute treatment for the ulcer.

This case result represents a significant win for the plaintiff and all others who depend upon hospital ICU treatment. An anonymous jury member stated that the award, especially the punitive damages, were meant to send a message to all hospitals that preventable, yet severe injuries like pressure ulcers are entirely unacceptable in such circumstances.

For more information about this recent case, you can click here to read a full article posted by the Albuquerque Journal. If you require personal injury claim representation or guidance, you can rely on the South Texas personal injury attorneys at Tom Rhodes Law Firm P.C. We are headquartered in San Antonio but regularly serve as lead and co-counsel for intricate and high-stakes claims all around the country. Contact us at any time at 210.265.6543 to schedule a free consultation with our team.