A $5.2 million settlement in a medical malpractice lawsuit involving the wrongful death of a woman during childbirth was recently approved by the New York State Supreme Court. The woman died from internal bleeding after a poorly performed Caesarean procedure.
The decedent, Diane McCable, was admitted Albany Medical Center Hospital in labor on September 3, 2007. After ten hours of labor, Dr. Cheryl Burack decided Ms. McCable needed a C-section, but passed her care off to Dr. Sean Yong-Il Lee. After performing the procedure, Dr. Lee allegedly ignored multiple calls from the attending physician saying that McCable may have severe internal bleeding. By the time Lee did get back to McCable to attempt to stop the bleeding, it was too late. In the settlement, Lee will pay $2.3 million, Burack $1.9 million and Albany Medical $1 million.
In addition to the monetary settlement, the agreement requires that Albany Medical fund a series of lectures focusing on topics related to enhancing patient safety. It also requires the hospital to buy a maternal and neonatal simulator to be used in staff training on the labor and delivery unit. Further, the settlement requires that procedures regarding the use of a machine that monitors a patient’s vital signs during childbirth be changed.
$5.2M benefit can’t heal loss, Paul Grondahl, Albany Time Union, April 3, 2010.