Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Cases in Florida
Punitive damages in Florida may be available in a medical malpractice lawsuit case only if egregious or intentional negligence is found to be present. These damages serve to punish the defendant rather than compensate the victim, so evidence must be presented that such damages are warranted given the circumstances of the negligence and its impact on the victim.
What warrants punitive damages in Florida?
There are several factors that a court will look at before awarding punitive damages in Florida. First, there must be some other type of damage award given to the victim, since punitive damages cannot be awarded on their own.
In addition, the actions of the medical professional must have been egregious or intentional. The negligence must be beyond the typical scope of a mistake that causes injury.
For example, according to The Las Vegas Review-Journal, two pharmaceutical companies were ordered to pay $500 million in punitive damages to a patient and his wife. The patient contracted hepatitis C after undergoing a colonoscopy in which Propofol was used as an anesthetic. Health experts believe that reuse of the vials containing Propofol led to this and other cases of hepatitis C, and the lawsuit alleges that the drug companies sold larger vials than what was needed despite the vials being labeled as single-use, thus encouraging subsequent use.
However, punitive damages in medical malpractice lawsuit cases are uncommon. This is because basic negligence is generally at play and it must be proven that the medical professional purposely intended to cause the injury or was grossly negligent, which can be very difficult.
Contacting Personal Injury Lawyers in Florida
If you believe your injury was caused by malicious intent or gross negligence, you may be entitled to punitive damages. A Fort Lauderdale medical malpractice attorney at the law offices of Wolf & Pravato in Florida can help with your case and discuss whether punitive damages may be available. Call us today at (954) 522-5800.
We also help the victims of medical malpractice in the following cities: