In addition to obtaining some redemption, via a monetary award, for victims and families of medical malpractice, sometimes nationwide changes can be made. It is becomming more and more common for plaintiffs to seek more than just money for their injuries. They are seeking sweeping changes to the practices of these negligent hospitals.

Recently, the family of 32-year-old Diane Rizk McCabe, who bled to death during a botched C-Section, settled their case with the responsible Albany, New York hospital. In settling the case, the family not only received money but insisted that the hospital implement significant patient safety improvements. This included requiring that the hospital buy “a maternal and neonatal simulator to be used in staff training on the labor and delivery unit and to change procedures on the use of a machine that monitors a patient’s vital signs during childbirth.”

The Albany Times Union reported:

McCabe’s widowed husband, Joseph McCabe, a Schenectady police officer who did not return to work for more than a year after his wife’s death, said in a statement: “The settlement provides non-monetary benefits which will serve as a living memorial of Diane for our children and family. We hope that it will improve the quality of medical care in this area and reduce the likelihood that another family will have to endure the suffering and loss that our family has undergone.”

McCabe’s children are Louie, 9, and Jenna, 2 1/2. Joseph McCabe’s attorney, John Powers was ready to take the case to trial, which was set for August. “It was never about the money with the family,” Powers said. “It came down to the non-monetary aspects involved with the settlement. They wanted to do something to make certain this doesn’t happen to someone else and to create a memorial to Diane for the children as they grow up that they’ll know that their mother is being remembered in this way.” Powers said the McCabe family accepted the settlement because they could not have won those non-monetary portions in a trial.

Unfortunately, sometimes the only way to force these changes are through legal action. Tort reform is not the answer. The regulatory authorities are slow to act. The hospitals never voluntarily make such changes. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of medical malpractice, please contact a St. Louis injury attorney at 1-800-517-0602.


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