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Jury only took 90 minutes to decide wrongful death claim

Oregon residents often go to doctors for ailments that are not life-threatening. They do not anticipate that they will end up hospitalized or that their lives will be in danger because of receiving treatment for them. However, on occasion, something goes horribly wrong, and a patient dies. A victim's surviving family members most likely never thought that they would be exercising their rights to file a wrongful death claim in the aftermath of what should have been considered a simple fix.

An out-of-state woman went to see the doctor because she had a toenail that was discolored. Her doctor prescribed a medication called Nizoral, which is an antifungal medication. Within five months, she was dead.

Nizoral is known to cause liver toxicity that can be fatal. The protocols for the drug require the patient to be monitored closely for any signs of this condition. The Georgia woman's doctor failed to follow the proscribed protocols. Four months after she began taking the medication, she was diagnosed with liver failure and hospitalized. It took three weeks for her body to succumb to her condition.

Her husband filed a wrongful death claim against the clinic and the doctor. The jury spent only 90 minutes deliberating and awarded the family $4.7 million. The insurance company handling the claim decided to settle with the husband for $4.9 million despite the fact that the coverage limit was $2 million.

Unfortunately, this woman's death is not as uncommon as Oregon residents might believe. Numerous medications that are prescribed for innocuous conditions have potentially serious side effects that require careful monitoring. If a doctor fails to appropriately monitor a patient's condition, another family could end up filing a similar wrongful death claim.

Source: legal.blog.ajc.com, "Woman goes to doctor for discolored toenail, ends up dead", Bill Rankin, July 21, 2016

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