A Virginia man was recently awarded $500,000 in a medical malpractice case against the anesthesiologist who put him under sedation during a colonoscopy in 2013. Tiffany Ingham, 42, was ordered to pay her patient after she was caught on recording mocking the man mercilessly while he was unconscious to other medical professionals in the room.
The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, accidentally recorded the encounter in April 2013 while being prepped for the procedure in order to accurately capture the post-procedure instructions. However, when he listened to the recording on the way home he realized that he has recorded the entire operation and that Ms. Ingham had insulted and mocked him as he slept.
Ms. Ingham was recorded saying statements like “after five minutes of talking to you in pre-op, I wanted to punch you in the face and man you up a little bit.” When a medical assistant noted a rash on his body, Ms. Ingham warned her not to touch it, stating that she “might get syphilis on your arm or something,” before adding “It’s probably tuberculosis in the penis, so you’ll be all right.”
Her attorney attempted to get the recording thrown out of court on the theory that it was improperly recorded, but in Virginia a person is allowed by law to record a conversation without the consent of the other party. A juror after the trial said that Ms. Ingham did not have much of a defense because her entire mockery was caught on tape.
The jury awarded the man $100,000 for defamation, $50,000 each for the comments regarding syphilis and tuberculosis, and $200,000 for medical malpractice. An extra $200,000 was added on to the final verdict as punitive damages. Since the incident, Ms. Ingham has left the practice in Virginia and relocated to Florida.
Florida Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice in Florida is a complicated and messy issue. In 2003, the legislature of the state completely overhauled medical malpractice law, instituting caps on damages and other protections for medical professionals and hospitals across the state. However, the Florida Supreme Court has been rejecting certain aspects of medical malpractice law, including declaring the caps on non-economic damages for wrongful death medical malpractice cases unconstitutional.
Victims that have been injured by a medical professional have the right to be compensated for their claims. Damages can include present and future medical expenses, lost wages, impaired earning ability, disability payments, pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, punitive damages, and more.
Our Office Can Help
If you or someone that you know has been injured by a medical professional in the Tampa Bay area, the experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Reed & Reed, Attorneys at Law are here to help. From our office in Brandon, we help clients in Tampa, New Tampa, Plant City, East Hillsborough County and throughout the state of Florida. Contact Reed & Reed for a free consultation.