Regardless of whether a patient is well-known, he or she is entitled to the appropriate medical care when they seek treatment of an ailment. In the aftermath of a major surgical procedure, it is not uncommon to experience complications that are usually treated by following the accepted standard of care. However, when providers deviate from that standard and attempt to correct a complication through other means, a patient could suffer irreparable injury. If Arizona patients have suffered as a result, they may have a basis for filing a medical malpractice claim.
According to a recent report, Neil Armstrong's surviving family received a settlement from the hospital the former astronaut was a patient. In 2012, Armstrong underwent a successful heart bypass procedure. When nursing staff removed temporary wiring from his pacemaker, he began to experience internal bleeding. The hospital elected to attempt to drain the blood through catheterization rather than through surgery.
An investigation found that this decision is what lead to Armstrong's subsequent death. His two sons later filed a malpractice claim against the hospital. The spouse of one of the sons, who is also an attorney, suggested to the hospital's administration that if the family publicized the lawsuit, the resulting award would exceed the damages that the family was requesting.
The family and the Ohio hospital reached a settlement for an estimated $6 million that included the parties signing a nondisclosure agreement. News of the settlement comes as the nation celebrated the 50th anniversary of when Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon. Armstrong's widow made a statement that she was not a party to the medical malpractice lawsuit and did not receive any portion of the settlement, though she did not provide any further details. Arizona patients -- or their surviving family -- may seek recovery of any monetary damages they have sustained as a result of malpractice through the state's civil justice system.