When a life is lost due to the negligence of another, family members can recover damages on behalf of their loved ones. These damages can cover the medical expenses and funeral costs of the deceased, as well as the loss of household services once provided by them. The family of astronaut Neil Armstrong recently received $6 million in a wrongful death settlement from a Cincinnati hospital.
It has been reported that the 82-year-old Armstrong died in August 2012 at the hospital after undergoing bypass surgery. While the procedure went well, complications arose after the wires of his temporary pacemaker were removed. Armstrong allegedly began to bleed internally, and doctors took him to the catheterization lab for an echocardiogram and to have blood drained from his heart. He then spent weeks in an operating room before passing away.
The family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the hospital for incompetent post-surgical care and presented a medical expert to talk about how the care provided to Armstrong did not meet the standards required. Specifically, the expert stated that the hospital made a major error in taking Armstrong to the cath lab before taking him to the operating room. The hospital defended its actions by providing its own experts. One of the hospital's experts said that taking Armstrong to the cath lab was riskier than going straight to the O.R. but was still defensible.
The parties finally reached a settlement, in which Armstrong's sons split $5.2 million, while $800,000 was split between Armstrong's siblings and grandkids. The hospital insisted that the details were kept secret to keep Armstrong's sons from speaking poorly of the hospital. Specifically, the hospital did not want Armstrong's sons to speak at a public celebration of the 45th anniversary of Armstrong's moon landing.
Losing a loved one is always difficult but filing a wrongful death suit against negligent parties can help ease some of the financial burdens families face after the death of a loved one.