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Attorneys Seek Over $9 Million from Hospital and Staff Members in Lawsuit for the Wrongful Death of a Mother of Two

On March 15, 2017, Maria G. Handley arrived at the emergency room with a very high fever, increase heart rate, low blood pressure; symptoms that are clear signs of an infection. She had an x-ray taken of her chest. The image showed an indication of pneumonia in the upper lobe of her right lung. The hospital later discharged Handley and sent her home with an antibiotic. The evening following her release from the hospital, Maria collapsed in her bathroom at home. Her son’s father took her back to Physician Healthcare Network hospital, which diagnosed her with septic shock. The hospital then transported her by helicopter to Henry Ford Hospital on the afternoon of March 17, 2017. Unfortunately, Ms. Handley died the morning of March 16, 2017, from pneumonia complications.

Attorneys for the estate of Maria G. Handley filed a lawsuit in St. Clair County Circuit Court against the Physician Healthcare Network hospital, the treating doctor, and a physician assistant. The complaint alleges that the negligence of the hospital and its staff contributed to Maria’s death. Her attorney alleges negligence in the failure of performing a complete blood count to determine the degree of Handley’s infection and which bacteria caused it. The lawsuit also alleges the failure to review the patient’s medical history that showed a recent pneumonia diagnosis and compromised immune system from a 2006 removal of her spleen. The attorneys sued for $812,500, the medical malpractice limit in Michigan, and more than nine million dollars for economic damages.

When a person dies due to a wrongful act, neglect, or fault of another person, the personal representative of the deceased victim’s estate may file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover damages. They may seek economic damages such as medical bills, lost wages, loss of future earnings, and burial costs. The case may also ask for noneconomic damages including, pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of consortium, and loss of companionship. However, a party may hesitate to file the wrongful death lawsuit because the costs and fees associated with legal cases are too high. Litigation funding can help the person pursue the legal claim by removing the financial barriers and burdens.

Litigation funding is third-party financing to cover the legal costs and fees of a person’s lawsuit. The money is a conditional loan that helps pay for the attorneys’ fees, courts, and sometimes personal expenses during the case. Although the borrower uses the money to obtain legal representation, the attorney does not work for the legal funding company. The lawyer has an attorney-client relationship only with the borrower. The lender does not control the case or the legal services. If the client wins or settles the lawsuit, the third-party financer gets the loaned money back out of the judgment or settlement. Regardless of the case’s outcome, the borrower does not carry the risk of repaying the loan out-of-pocket.

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