Grieving husband and father Michael Beglin was awarded one of the largest wrongful death settlements in America by the state of Kentucky. The settlement was for the passing of his wife, Jennifer Beglin, 40, who died as a result of a hypoxic brain injury during a standard colon repair at University Medical Center in Louisville.
How It Happened
Wife and mother Jennifer Beglin was put under anesthesia in preparation for a routine colon surgery at University Medical Center. During the surgery, Beglin’s blood was not clotting, and she began to lose substantial amounts of blood. Her medical team ordered blood from the trauma center just one floor downstairs, but neglected to let the center know that they needed the blood STAT. The blood did not arrive on time, after 12 calls in total to the trauma center. Beglin went without oxygen to her brain for too long, and she was in a coma. After three months without any brain activity, her husband made the difficult and heartwrenching decision to take her off life support.
How the Court Determined the Award Amount
In order to understand why the Beglin family was awarded such a high amount by the state of Kentucky, it is important to look at the overall breakdown of the suit.
- $1,922,102 to replace Jennifer’s future income
- $367,358.09 to pay for the medical expenses related to the surgery and subsequent injury
- $7,543 for funeral costs
- $3,000,000 for Jennifer’s children, who experienced a loss of consortium after the death of their mother
- $3,750,000 in punitive damages
The total amount awarded to the Beglin family was $9,047, 003.09. It’s important to note that the most money awarded in this case was for punitive damages, instead of lost wages or medical expenses.
Punitive Damages Explained
Punitive damages are designed to penalize the entity being sued for their carelessness. The Beglin family experienced a grave and devastating loss when their wife and mother died, and no medical institution should be able to get away with the gross negligence the University Medical Center displayed on the day of Jennifer’s surgery.
Jennifer’s surgical team made an egregious and unforgivable error when they could not manage to obtain replacement blood in a reasonable amount of time from the trauma center that was just one floor below them. The punitive damages paid by the University Medical Center are meant to prevent a similar accident from happening to any other families.
Holding Entities Responsible for Negligence
If you have lost a family member in a wrongful death case as the result of someone else’s negligence, you have legal options that must be discussed with an attorney. Your loved one deserves justice, and no one should have to suffer for the untimely death of a loved one.
A wrongful death lawyer can help you recover damages for medical expenses and other financial burdens placed upon your family. A wrongful death attorney can help you ensure that the entity responsible for your loved one’s passing is held fully responsible for their actions.
At Appalachian Injury Law, we have significant experience working with wrongful death cases and will aggressively advocate for absolute justice for your loved one. Call us today at (706) 515-1995 or (800) 393-8595.