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Jury Awards Valley Medical Center Patient $1.8 Million for Nursing Negligence
Date:7/23/2009

developed incontinence, a sign of neurologic damage, according to testimony.

During rounds the next morning, Sandbo's surgeon, Dr. Jason Thompson, was alarmed at Sandbo's condition. Thompson testified in court he could see "panic in her eyes" and immediately ordered an emergency CT scan, which revealed a massive blood clot in her back, putting pressure on her spinal nerves.

"The hospital's nursing staff did not alert Dr. Thompson that Ellen was in trouble, depriving him of the opportunity to help Ellen," Gellatly noted.

Gellatly noted the hospital would not give Thompson access to an operating room until 3 p.m., which contributed to her permanent damages. "Valley Medical Center and its staff failed Ellen Sandbo, and failed Doctor Thompson in his efforts to help his patient," Gellatly added.

Thompson said in court testimony that he asked the nurse why he wasn't called at the onset of Sandbo's pain and the nurse admitted the error, saying "I should have called" -- a statement the nurse later denied making.

Sandbo spent the next three months in a skilled nursing facility before being sent to an adult family home, and then died on April 29, 2009 from what her family believes were complications of her paralysis.

The jury took just four and a half hours to reach the unanimous verdict and awarded $1.8 million to Sandbo's estate after determining Valley Medical Center's negligence. The award is among the highest in the state's history for a woman of Sandbo's age.

Stephen Sandbo, Ellen's son, said his mother sued Valley only after the hospital refused to accept accountability and responsibility, choosing instead to say that his mother lied about asking for her physician on the evening of January 31.

"They just stonewalled us at every turn, showing no concern for my mother or her situation," said San
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SOURCE The Luvera Law Firm
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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