A Broward County Circuit Judge has done something extremely rare – he has reversed a jury verdict and ordered a new trial. The victim in this case lost of four of her limbs due to medical negligence. Judge Charles M. Greene tossed a jury’s verdict against the victim because it was "contrary to the law and the manifest weight of the evidence."
Judge Greene determined there was an overwhelming amount of evidence against the defendants (significant errors in communication and diagnoses) and therefore a new trial was warranted. The defendants blamed each other and there many, many errors, both of which may have contibuted to the jury not being able to determine who was actually at fault.
The victim had gone to the hospital in extreme pain and told the attending nurse she had a history kidney stones and that it must be a kidney stone. The ER physician and the attending physician pointed fingers at each other – one saying that he was not informed of the patient’s dire condition, the other indicating she expected the attending to come in to examine the patient, not just make a decision over the phone.
As a result of the lack of communication and treatment, the victim ended up in septic shock due to an extreme infection that cut off the blood flow to her limbs. Unfortunately, her legs were amputated just below her knees and then a few days later, her arms were removed just below the elbow.
According to the National Center for State Courts, in 2005 judges set aside less than .5 percent of jury verdicts. This victim is one of the very few that will have a second day in court. One can only hope that aother jury will view the evidence the way Judge Greene did and help this amputee get what she is surely due – a fair settlement in the face of all the many errors that resulted in her being a quadruple amputee.