Jury Awards $62 Million in Medical Malpractice Case

, New York Law Journal


A Brooklyn jury has awarded $62 million to a woman who lost both legs and most of her hearing to complications of a gynecological surgery at Winthrop-University Hospital.

The jury awarded Stacey Galette $20 million for past pain and suffering, $38 million for future pain and suffering and about $4 million for treatment costs on Friday following a trial before Supreme Court Justice Ann Pfau.

Galette went to the hospital in October 2009 to undergo surgery for an ectopic pregnancy. During the procedure, her bowel was perforated. She was sent home two days later despite complaining of severe abdominal pain.

Galette's pain kept getting worse, and the next day she returned to the hospital's emergency room, where she was initially diagnosed with a small bowel obstruction. Several days later, she became septic. She ultimately required a colostomy, amputation of both her legs below the knee and treatment with powerful antibiotics that took most of her hearing.

Galette sued the hospital and treating physicians, alleging that they failed to follow ordinary standards of care. The trial began last October.

Galette was represented by Ira Newman and Edward Sanocki, partners at Sanocki Newman & Turret.

Peter DeNoto, a partner at Heidell, Pittoni, Murphy & Bach, who represented the hospital, could not be reached for comment. The defendants have moved to set aside the verdict.

The case is Galette v. Winthrop-University Hospital, 28327/10.

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