Another Medical Negligence Jury Verdict Issued Against Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe
A Santa Fe jury has issued a $1 million award in yet another medical malpractice lawsuit filed against Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center. In Jiron et al. v. Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center, et al., Zelda Jiron was treated at Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center for severe abdominal pain in 2010. After Jiron was admitted to the hospital, she was apparently given multiple doses of a powerful narcotic pain reliever. Sometime following administration of the drug, a medical professional employed by the hospital purportedly attempted to examine Jiron. Instead, the hospital employee purportedly left Jiron's room after discovering the patient was sleeping. About 20 minutes later, Jiron's husband, Simon, found her foaming at the mouth, twitching, and turning purple. He called for help and Christus St. Vincent medical staff resuscitated Jiron. Later, the hospital reportedly discovered that Jiron suffered a cardio-pulmonary arrest.
As a result of the incident, Jiron filed a medical negligence lawsuit seeking more than $2 million in compensatory and punitive damages against Christus St. Vincent in a New Mexico federal court. Her husband also sought damages for loss of consortium that directly resulted from the woman's near death event. At trial, Jiron argued that hospital doctors should have monitored her condition more closely after administering the potent drug. Jiron, who is apparently morbidly obese, also alleged that the drug is known to cause breathing issues in both sleeping and overweight patients. Additionally, Jiron provided testimony that the medical professional who found her sleeping has a history of improperly dosing her patients and that the hospital worker changed information in Jiron's medical chart after she was resuscitated.
Following five days of testimony, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Jiron for $250,000 in compensatory damages and $750,000 in punitive damages. The jurors, however, elected not to award financial compensation for loss of consortium to Jiron's husband.