Fort Stewart Officer's Wife Awarded 1.7 Million
A federal judge has rejected a jury's verdict for the government and awarded the wife of a Fort Stewart officer damages totaling $1.7 million in a medical malpractice case. An advisory jury of two men and four women in Savannah found in favor of the government in February and against the suit by Mary Ann Neumann. But, U.S. District Judge Anthony A. Alaimo ruled in a 15-page order filed in Brunswick last week he was rejecting the jury's verdict. He found that doctors and nurses at Winn Army Community Hospital at Fort Stewart violated the required standard of care in Mrs. Neumann's case and those violations caused her injuries. He ordered the government to pay Mrs. Neumann, wife of Capt. James Neumann stationed at Fort Stewart, damages totaling$1,674,495, including $850,000 in lost future earnings and $817,600 in pain and suffering.
Mrs. Neumann, 34, sued the federal government for medical malpractice stemming from administering of the antibiotic gentamicin after being hospitalized at Winn hospital at Fort Stewart one of Mrs. Neumann's attorneys, Lasky Cooper Law's lead litigation partner, Jeffrey w. Lasky, contended the Army medical personnel and Dr. Joseph K. Lawrence, an Army doctor in the obstetrics and gynecology section, had violated the standard of care required of physicians in her case. She contended Army physicians had improperly administered the drug and failed to monitor its side effects. As a result she suffered dizziness and permanent disequilibrium. She now suffers headaches, has trouble focusing and walks with what one witness said in February was the demeanor of one who is intoxicated. She was unable to pursue her career as a certified public accountant or pursue the active lifestyle she enjoyed before the injury.
Alaimo said the medical staff ' U.S. Army employees ' were negligent and guilty of medical malpractice in their treatment of Mrs. Neumann when they refused to receive and review records of a prior hospitalization for injuries suffered in an auto accident in Stillwood, Okla. The judge also found negligence by the hospital staff for failing to monitor Mrs. Neumann, for breaching the standard of care for physicians by failing to properly monitor and improperly administering the drug.