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NC Family receives $7 Million In Perforated Bowel Wrongful Death Case


Posted on Jun 16, 2011

According to the Statesville Record & Landmark, a Wilkes County family will receive $7 million in the wake of a deadly medical malpractice incident. The North Carolina wrongful death case centered on 54-year-old Victoria Lynn Brown Harmon, who died of sepsis in September 2007 in the days following a hysterectomy.

Harmon told medical professionals that she felt a great deal of pain following the surgery and her white blood cell count was high – a sign of a dangerous infection. However, the Lake Norman Regional Medical Center released the woman. She returned on the same day after suffering a sneeze that caused extreme pain. By the time the hospital figured out that Harmon’s bowel had been perforated during her surgery, it was too late. Harmon’s organs failed one after another and she contracted pneumonia. She died months later, never having recovered from the initial infection. 

In the medical malpractice trial, Dr. Susan Lovejoy Roque, the physician who performed the surgery, was found negligent, while Dr. David Gish, the physician who treated Harmon’s complications after her return to the hospital, was not negligent. She left behind three adult children and a loving husband. Since her death, each of her children have produced grandchildren that will never know their grandmother.

As for the large wrongful death award, the family’s medical malpractice attorney stated that he was glad that the jury understood that a person’s life is not just worth their future earnings.

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