A Philadelphia jury awarded a $20.5 million verdict to the parents of an 18-year-old college student who allegedly died from a liposuction procedure gone wrong. Of the $20.5 million award, $15 million was for punitive damages. The jury returned the verdict seven years to the day of the elective liposuction Amy Fledderman, 18, sought for her chin, abdomen and flanks with a plastic surgeon. The verdict was against the doctors and nurse anesthetist.
A blood vessel in Amy’s neck was severed during the liposuction, and she was administered medication to which she was allergic. Despite a respiratory emergency, the defendants kept Fledderman in the doctor’s office for over two hours and failed to call an ambulance until she was on the verge of death, including appearing cyanotic, or blue. Her oxygen levels had dropped from the normal high 90s to the 60s. Amy died two days later as she was being transferred from Montgomery Hospital to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. It was alleged that Amy had an agonizing death and spent the 24 hours before dying in severe pain, intubated and vomiting blood. A massive cover up was alleged, which included lying to the Pennsylvania Department of State Investigators, to the Pennsylvania Department of Health Investigators, and to detectives from the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.
The doctor’s liposuction privileges had been restricted at Main Line Health Hospitals, and he was required to be under the supervision of another liposuction surgeon, according to the plaintiffs’ lawyers. His office was not licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Shade McLaughin and Maxwell S. Kennedy, who are with the Beasley Firm out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, represented the family and did an outstanding job.
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