Eleven years ago, a 15 year-old girl was about to undergo a knee repair surgery. During the course of that 1995 surgery, she contracted an infection that painstakingly led to an additional seven surgeries. Although the West Virginia University hospitals knew that they were experiencing unusually high levels of infections near the time she was infected, they did not inform their physicians or patients.
The jury award is being threatened by the close ties between the hospital and the West Virginia legislature. Senator Evan Jenkins, who also acts as the executive director of the West Virginia Medical Association, states that he hopes the judge will decrease the award.
Others remain hopeful that the judge will heed to the strong message that the jurors sent: that hospitals will not go unpunished for its negligent acts and refusing to take responsibility for its failures.