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New Mexico Releases Medical Malpractice Case Settlements

The New Mexico Governor’s Office has been releasing information about state lawsuit settlement since last year. Details published on the state’s Sunshine Portal provide information about medical malpractice lawsuits involving the University of New Mexico Hospital (UNMH). 

No Batteries in Brain Surgery Stimulators

In 2018, Dennis Crowley underwent brain surgery to replace battery packs for a deep brain stimulator. A deep brain stimulator is a medical device that sends electrical impulses to regulate abnormal impulses. This can be used to treat a number of conditions, including epilepsy and Parkinson’s. 

Batteries in the generator need to be replaced over time, depending on the usage and settings. When Crowley’s surgery was over, he eventually found out the neurosurgeon only replaced one of the battery packs. UNMH settled a malpractice lawsuit for $275,000.

Low Sodium Levels Brought Up Too Fast

The balance of fluids and electrolytes in the body is necessary for the proper functioning of the nervous system. Too low of levels of sodium can be as dangerous as too high of sodium levels. In 2018, John Bedford was treated at UNMH for hyponatremia, or low sodium levels. However, in a malpractice lawsuit, the injury victim alleged the sodium levels were brought up too quickly, leaving him with permanent neurological damage. The case was settled for $575,000. 

Sepsis After Bowel Obstruction Surgical Leak

In 2013, Ron Anderson underwent surgery at UNMH for a bowel obstruction. However, after the surgery, the patient claims a leak developed in the surgical site and he became septic. Because of the infection, the patient had to have his right foot amputated and had to receive regular dialysis. A lawsuit against the hospital was settled for $395,000. 

Stroke Caused by Brain Injury

In 2014, Pearl Wood was admitted to UNMH with an elevated intracranial pressure after a fall. According to a lawsuit filed against the hospital, a drain was placed in the patient’s skull but stopped working. The drain remained closed for almost 10 hours, where the patient suffered a stroke and eventually died. 

Bleeding inside the skull can increase the pressure around the brain. This can cause brain tissue damage and kill brain cells. A hemorrhagic stroke is a type of brain bleed that occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures, causing swelling. Hemorrhagic strokes have a high fatality rate.

Punctured Uterine Wall During Procedure

In 2017, Jasmine Pacheco went to the UNM Center for Reproductive Health for the implantation of an intrauterine device (IUD). However, according to the lawsuit filed by Pacheco, the doctor attempted to insert the IUD with so much force, it punctured her uterine wall. Pacheco had to undergo surgery to correct the damage. UNMH settled the case for $50,000.

Settlements in a Medical Malpractice Case

At Gilman  & Bedigian, we are committed to helping patients and families who have been injured by medical malpractice to understand their rights and help obtain compensation. To speak with a member of our personal injury team, fill out an online case evaluation form or call (800) 529-6162 today. 

About the Author

Briggs Bedigian
Briggs Bedigian

H. Briggs Bedigian (“Briggs”) is a founding partner of Gilman & Bedigian, LLC.  Prior to forming Gilman & Bedigian, LLC, Briggs was a partner at Wais, Vogelstein and Bedigian, LLC, where he was the head of the firm’s litigation practice.  Briggs’ legal practice is focused on representing clients involved in medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases. 


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