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Woman Awarded $8.5 Million in Malpractice Case

A Manhattan jury awarded $8.5 million to a woman who was left severely brain damaged after surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Karine Aquilino, a 37-year-old former postal worker, entered into a semi-comatose state for nearly a year on September 13, 2000 when the hospital failed to perform emergency surgery to relieve pressure on her brain.

In August, doctors at Mt. Sinai had inserted a shunt to drain fluid from her brain. Five weeks later, Aquilino returned to the hospital but was left to languish for hours in the emergency room.

According to the lawsuit, Aquilino never received a CT scan that would have shown bleeding around her brain. “A CT scan, inexplicably, was never performed. It was a departure from protocol that produced devastating results,” said Thomas Moore, Aquilino’s lawyer.

The lawsuit alleged that Mt. Sinai and Dr. Isabelle Germano, the neurosurgeon, “failed miserably” to properly monitor Aquilino after her initial surgery.

Aquilino now has difficulty performing everyday tasks such as grocery shopping, household chores, and even personal care. She also has speech, walking, and balance problems.

The jury issued the verdict against the hospital late last week. The award includes compensation for Aquilino’s pain and suffering, future aid and assistance, lost earnings, and future medical care and therapy.

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