1.5 million euros in damages after medical errors?

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Court suggests settlement of more than 1.5 million euros after treatment error

The Higher Regional Court in Hamm, ten years after a medical error in a hospital in Herne, has now proposed a settlement of over 1.5 million euros in an appeal. The victim suffered brain damage and has been dependent on care and support since then.

Ten years after the medical error The Hamm Higher Regional Court proposed a settlement of over 1.5 million euros on Friday in an appeal procedure ten years after a medical error in a hospital in Herne. The two parties to the dispute now have around four weeks to decide on this sum. If either party rejects the proposal, the proceeding will continue. The victim, a Greek woman now 41, would receive around two million euros, along with amounts already paid in previous years.

Hospital and doctors against first-instance judgment In the first instance, the district court of Bochum awarded her pain and suffering compensation of just under 300,000 euros, plus 130,000 euros for material damage such as loss of earnings and a monthly pension of around 16,000 euros per month until the end of her life - retrospectively from July 2010 The hospital, which belongs to the Bochum University Hospital, and the defendant doctors had appealed against it.

In a coma for four months The foreign language correspondent came to Germany from her native Greece in 2004 because she was convinced of the medical care in this country. She underwent an operation on the thyroid gland in the Marienhospital in Herne, which resulted in bleeding that could not be recognized in time and oxygen deficiency. The Greek suffered brain damage as a result and was in a coma for four months. Since then she has been dependent on care and maintenance. The patient had to bear the cost of the operation herself. The medical mistake had been recognized by the hospital.

Comparison with birth defects The court referred in its reasoning for the proposed 1.5 million euros to damages for birth defects due to medical errors. In extreme cases, amounts of 2.5 to three million euros were paid for children in Germany. "Even if our case has developed tragically, it is not comparable to the birth cases," said judge Joachim Lüblinghoff. According to his information, a monthly pension after a medical error of almost 16,000 euros would be the highest that a court has ever imposed in Germany.

Lawyer disappointed by the offer In a first reaction, the victim's lawyer, Ms. Karoline Seibt, was “extremely disappointed” by the amount of the proposed amount. Now she wants to consult with her client. "She is an incredible fighter and has a strong will," said Seibt. The lawyer further said that she did not know whether she could convince the woman of the court's proposal. The patient fought her way back to life after two rehabilitation stays. "She can speak quite well again, even in German, but her motor skills are severely limited. She can't hold a cup of coffee on her own. She needs care around the clock, ”says the lawyer.

Insurance shadowed victims in Greece On the defendant's side, the hospital's insurance would have to agree to the court's proposal. The clinic and insurance lawyers have been criticized by the court. For example, the insurance company had the patient in Athens shadowed by detectives who should check whether the Greek really needed the rehabilitation measures certified by experts. "The applicant's observation was not very helpful," said Lüblinghoff.

Further therapies needed As the lawyer explained, she now wanted to check whether her client could also be covered for life with the 1.5 million euros. It was important to take into account that interest rates are currently at a record low and also that the patient will have to bear the further treatment costs herself after a comparison. As Seibt further explained, her client is worse today than a year ago. The patient lived in Athens, was dependent on a wheelchair and could not take care of herself or get dressed without help. In addition, she has a severe speech defect and uncontrolled twitching and urgently needs further therapies. (ad)

Image: Tim Reckmann / pixelio.de

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