A Roanoke jury awarded a verdict of more than $340,000 to the relatives of a Giles County woman who died in 2001 as a result of a botched lung removal surgery. The jurors found Dr. Bradley Nicholson negligent in the death of 62-year-old Frances Cumbee. Their judgment determined that Nicholson should pay more than $66,000 in compensation for medical and funeral expenses and an additional $40,000 to each of Cumbee’s seven children.
Dr. Nicholson worked as a general surgeon for Carilion Giles Memorial Hospital until September 2001, when the hospital suspended his privileges to operate there. That same year, the Virginia Board of Medicine reprimanded him for unprofessional conduct that endangered his patients’ health, citing Cumbee’s case as one of the more egregious examples.
The lawsuit alleged that Nicholson didn’t have the proper training to perform the surgery and that the Giles hospital did not have the proper equipment for the procedure.
My only surprise is that a jury found that the life of a 62 year old mother was only “worth” $340,000!