The family of a woman who died after childbirth was awarded $4.25 million earlier this month by an Okaloosa County jury in a Florida medical malpractice lawsuit.
The wrongful death lawsuit was brought in state court against physicians at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center by relatives of Wendy Leigh Jackson, who died in June 2003 of a ruptured artery due to a renal aneurism.
Jackson’s death occurred just 16 hours after giving birth to her son at the hospital. According to the malpractice lawsuit, doctors Wyndal K. Blankenship, Barry Riggs and Saad Rahman were aware that an ultrasound showed Jackson was bleeding near her kidneys. However, appropriate action was not taken until it was too late.
The hospital itself was not named as a defendant in the lawsuit. According to the Northwest Florida Daily News, the jury found Blankenship and Rahman liable, but cleared Riggs. Rahman was found to be 65% responsible, and Blankenship 35% responsible.
Attorneys for the defendants argued that Jackson was partially responsible due to her own contributory negligence, but that argument was rejected by the jury.
The jury awarded Jackson’s son $1.7 million for pain and suffering, and $185,000 for loss of support and services. The jury also awarded her husband, Richard Jackson, $1.8 million for pain and suffering and $565,000 for loss of support and services.