A Flowood doctor and his clinic were recently ordered to pay $6.1 million to settle a medical malpractice lawsuit.
A judge in Hinds County recently ordered a Flowood doctor and his clinic to fork over $6.1 million to a patient as compensation for complications from a medical procedure. The ruling came after an arbitrator was “tasked with overseeing a medical malpractice claim against Dr. Ronald Kotfila and the GI Associates clinic in Flowood.”
According to the arbitrator, they “found Kotfila did not obtain informed consent from his patient, Pamela Arnett, concerning the possible consequences of an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography.” The procedure uses an X-ray and an endoscope and is typically performed to diagnose and treat issues in the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts, and pancreas.
Arnett was represented by William Quin and Tad McCraney. During the litigation process, they argued “Kotfila went against medical protocol and the diagnosis of a fellow specialist at the clinic to have the procedure performed.” As a result, Arnett was left with short and long-term complications that have “turned Arnett’s life upside down.”
The incident happened nearly four years ago when Arnett went to the Flowood clinic after she began experiencing stomach issues. While there, she met with a specialist who “determined she was dealing with some basic GI problems.” Years later, Arnett was still concerned she had an underlying issue and sought a second opinion. That’s when she met with Dr. Kotfila, a specialist at the clinic. Kotfila advised Arnett in favor of the medical procedure, which was later performed in December 2017.
Shortly after the procedure, however, Arnett was admitted to Baptist Hospital in May 2018 for 28 days. During that time she “racked up over $775,000 in medical bills…and underwent surgical drains of her abdomen.” To make matters worse, her lungs collapsed and she was placed on a breathing machine. When commenting on the incident, Arnett said, “I wasn’t supposed to be in pain after the procedure…I was in a lot of pain.”
Things have yet to go back to normal for Arnett. According to her attorneys, she has “been in and out of hospital emergency rooms with complications from the procedure and now takes painkillers to numb the pain.” She is also facing the possibility of losing her pancreas in the future.
As a result of her ordeal, Arnett is no longer able to work, which has placed a financial burden on the family. She said:
“It’s been really tough…It’s really hard to see my kids go through this. They’re missing their mom. My husband doesn’t have the wife that he married. The life we had dreamed of and wanted is gone. We won’t ever be able to have it.”
As part of the recent settlement, Arnett will receive the following:
- Past medical expenses of $775,918
- Pain and suffering, $500,000
- Loss of value of household services: $498,782
- Lost wages/wage earnings: $1,062,831
- Lifecare expenses: $3,292,831