A recent Missouri medical malpractice jury verdict was reported on recently by St. Louis today, totally $17.6 million. Brian and Michelle Koon sued a St. Louis doctor and St. Louis University for medical malpractice.

The jury awarded Mr. Koon $1.4 million in damages and Mrs. Koon $1.2 million. Most of the damages, however, came in the form of punitive damages: $15 million. While the law varies from state to state, punitive damages are awarded by a jury in a medical malpractice trial when the jury finds the defendant’s conduct to be intentional or grossly negligent. Punitive damages are meant to be used a form of deterrence for offenses so that the defendant does not repeat his actions on another patient.

Mr. Koon was a technical worker who had gone to see his primary care doctor at St. Louis University for back pain. He was 45 years old, and his doctor prescribed opioids, which are addictive pain medications. Between 2008 and 2012, Koon’s average dose of opioids rose from 49 mg to 1,555mg per day. According to the CDC guidelines reported by the St. Louis Today newspaper, this is well above the average 100 mg per day recommended dose.

At some time into his treatment, he was prescribed three different narcotics by his primary care physician. He became addicted and had to enter a drug rehab center.

This Missouri medical malpractice case was tried to a jury. If you feel you have been the victim of medical malpractice, you should contact a lawyer immediately to determine whether you have a meritorious case.

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