South Carolina

Aiken hospital’s conduct found ‘reckless, willful or wanton,’ ordered to pay $13.75 million

The Aiken Regional Medical Centers was ordered to pay an Aiken woman $13.75 million in damages on Tuesday at the end of her medical malpractice suit against the hospital.

Seletha Gartrell, 54, lost both her legs above the knee, her left arm below the elbow and fingers on her right hand after she was admitted to the hospital at 9:34 a.m. on December 6, 2012, The Aiken Standard reported.

The original complaint charged that Gartrell lost her limbs because of the “negligent care” of doctors and nurses who failed to accurately diagnose that she had Sepsis.

The case focused on the care and medications administered in the two days immediately following Gartrell’s admission, when doctors were not present, her lawyers argued.

After the verdict, the hospital said it disagreed with the jury’s finding. It said in a statement that Gartrell entered the hospital with two life-threatening conditions, one which caused cardiac arrest.

“Our nursing staff and physicians gave her the best of care that saved her life,” the hospital said in the Aiken Standard report.

“Hopefully this verdict will force the hospital to take a close look at how certain things are done and monitored in their Emergency Room and ICU units,” one of Gartrell’s lawyers, Johnny Felder, said in a statement.


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