Jury Awards $21M After Mistaken Brain Surgery
81-year-old patient died after procedure she didn't need, says family lawyer
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 8, 2015 1:18 PM CDT
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(Newser) – An 81-year-old Michigan woman went to the hospital for a relatively simple jaw procedure and ended up having brain surgery because of a mix-up in CT scans, her family says. Bimla Nayyar never recovered and died two months after the 2012 procedure, reports the Detroit News. Now a jury has awarded her family $21 million over what its attorney calls "the most shocking abuse I have ever seen." Oakwood Hospital plans to appeal, saying, "We're very concerned about how the details of this case have been portrayed," but it did not elaborate because the case is still in the courts.

Nayyar's family maintains that hospital workers mixed up her CT scan with one from another patient who actually did need brain surgery. Attorney Geoffey Fieger says doctors removed the right side of her skull, and "poked around in her brain before realizing they had the wrong patient." The family also accuses the hospital of trying to cover up the mistake. The size of the award is remarkable given the patient's age, suggesting that the family made a strong case, an attorney not involved tells the Detroit Free Press.