Pittsburgh-Area Woman Gets $5M in Brain Suit

February 10, 2009

A jury has ordered the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center to pay $5 million to a woman left brain-damaged after she was given too much sodium to correct a chemical imbalance.

UPMC officials say they’ll appeal Thursday’s Allegheny County court verdict in favor of 59-year-old Mary Ellen Pfeifer of White Oak.

Pfeifer was treated at UPMC McKeesport hospital in December 2006 for low sodium. She sued saying the hospital gave her a dose of sodium that was at least four times higher than necessary to correct her problem.

The jury cleared three doctors of wrongdoing, but says the hospital wrongfully administered a dose higher than prescribed.

Pfeifer is incontinent and needs help walking, eating, and bathing. Her attorney says the money will enable her to receive in-home care instead of living in a nursing home.

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.