Attorney Owen P. McGowan Negotiates $2.5 Million Settlement for Mother Killed By Medical Malpractice
Attorney: Owen P. McGowan, then with the firm of Mitchell, McGowan & DeSimone of Boston
Type of Case: Medical Malpractice, Failure to Diagnose, Wrongful Death
Amount of Settlement: $2.5 Million
Date of Settlement: June 21, 2000
Court: Middlesex Superior Court
Special Damages: Funeral Expenses
Attorney McGowan and his former law partner represented a young father with two children under the age of three. His wife had died shortly after giving birth to their third child at a suburban Boston hospital in 1995.
The plaintiff’s counsel claimed that the attending physicians and nurses had failed to properly diagnose and treat the woman’s HELLP Syndrome. As a result, she died approximately 32 hours after the delivery of her third child. The case settled after a full-day mediation and the mediator conducted several follow up sessions with the parties by phone.
Had the case gone to trial, the plaintiff’s counsel was prepared to introduce evidence of poor communication between the nurses and physicians who treated the mother. The attending physicians were unaware of the nursing protocols at the hospital. The hospital was understaffed and there was a failure to refer the plaintiff to a more appropriate medical setting given her needs.
The plaintiff’s team also retained a forensic expert who found handwriting discrepancies in the youth mother’s medical chart. The investigation revealed that her medical records had been altered, from 2 micrograms of Magnesium Sulfate to 3 micrograms, which was the prescribed amount.
This case, Lund v. Doe, et al., was settled for $2.5 million and was the highest medical malpractice award in Massachusetts in 2000.