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Family gets settlement in wrongful death claim

The family of a teenage girl who went into a routine dental surgery but died days later has received some degree of compensation through a settlement agreement, according to court documents. The girl was a 17-year-old junior in high school who sustained a brain injury after she was deprived of oxygen during the medical procedure in March 2011. The family filed a wrongful death suit a few months later. Atlanta families who sustain a similar tragedy may consider bringing forth similar suits.

Although the wisdom teeth surgery was a routine procedure, something went terribly wrong. After the surgery, she was in a coma for 10 days until she died. The autopsy report indicated that the cause of death was due to oxygen deprivation that occurred during the surgery. The report also indicated that she was a healthy teenager with "no significant medical history."

The teen's parents brought the civil lawsuit in November 2011, which included five counts regarding negligence and medical failure. The original suit claimed that more than $150,000 was in dispute. The defendants named in the suit included the anesthesiologist, oral surgeon, a surgery center, two practices in which the oral surgeon was a partner and the primary practice setting for the anesthesiologist. The suit alleged that these parties were responsible for the teen's death because they were negligent when they failed to revive the teen after her heart rate was too slow, which caused her to lose oxygen to her brain.

The parties reached a settlement agreement of which the monetary value is not a public matter. The case was officially dismissed pursuant to the settlement agreement. When a party acts in a negligent matter that causes the death of a loved one, the surviving family members may be able to bring forth a wrongful death suit with the help of an Atlanta personal injury attorney.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Malpractice claim in teen's wisdom teeth death settled out of court," Kevin Rector, April 3, 2013

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