$2.5 million in damages
A recent article in The New York Times tells the story of a 59-year-old nurse in Kentucky who woke one morning to crushing pain in her abdomen. The pain was so debilitating that the woman began to vomit, and she sought immediate medical attention. A CT scan led to a very troubling diagnosis: a surgical sponge left over from a medical procedure years earlier had adhered to her bladder, stomach and abdominal cavity and caused a serious infection that required the removal of a large portion of her intestine. She sued the hospital where the surgery had taken place and won $2.5 million in damages. However, attorneys for the hospital appealed the ruling, and the case is still pending. She now suffers from serious problems with her bowels and is unable to work.