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Patient Wins $30M, Collects Nothing

A Boca Raton patient won a $30 million verdict for injuries from a simple surgery that went went horribly wrong and left her unable to work.  But she won’t be able to collect the money.  The same legal system that helped Laura Haughie win the verdict blocked her from receiving it, the Palm Beach Post reports.

When Laura Haughie went to Dr. Gregory Latchaw in 2006, she expected to get relief from the discomfort caused by a fibroid tumor.  Latchaw scheduled Haughie for a laparoscopic hysterectomy, a 45-minute procedure that would have her back at work in about four days.   But Latchaw nicked her bladder, causing Haughie’s abdomen to fill with urine, leaving her  unable to work and in need of further surgeries.  

By the time Haughie filed suit  in 2008, Latchaw’s corporate practice had been closed and he was employed by a different corporation. Meanwhile, he filed bankruptcy. So the jury’s outsized award could not be collected. 

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.