A Fairfax County, Virginia (VA) jury awarded a man $500,000 after it was determined that his surgical team mocked and insulted him while he was under anesthesia during a medical procedure.
The 42-year-old man left his cell phone on during his colonoscopy and recorded the audio of the entire procedure. The recording, which was played in court, captured the anesthesiologist saying, “After five minutes of talking to you in pre-op, I wanted to punch you in the face and man you up a little bit.”
The anesthesiologist also is heard telling another doctor that she might get syphilis on her arm if she touched a rash that was on the patient.
The patient was recording the procedure so that he could hopefully capture some of the instructions from his gastroenterologist after the procedure.
One of the jurors said that the award of $500,000 was a compromise, as the patient filed a $1.75 million defamation and medical malpractice lawsuit. The juror said that they decided to award something to the man as a warning to other doctors.
Our Virginia medical malpractice law firm handles various malpractice lawsuits, although we must say that this one is a bit unusual. Even though the patient did not suffer any physical injuries at the hands of his medical team, it does seem appropriate to us that he deserved some compensation for this mistreatment. It also will alert other doctors to the foolishness of insulting and mocking patients while they are in surgery.
Usually, medical malpractice cases involve injury and death. Over 225,000 people die every year due to medical mistakes. Still, only one in eight victims ever files a medical malpractice claim.