Sally Hunter was a homemaker in Pasadena California, happily married to her loving husband Harold Hunter. But everything changed when colon cancer was discovered. A cascade of complications caused by medical negligence lead to over a decade of heartache for this elderly couple.
It all started during a colon resection. During surgery, the staple gun malfunctioned. So the surgeon, instead of getting a new gun, attempted suturing it by hand. This negligent act caused severe scarring and adhesions. In an attempt to fix his mistake, he sliced through her genitals only making matters worse.
This lead to multiple procedures over years which included a colostomy bag and dialysis to deal with kidney failure caused by the disruption of her digestive system. The pain and heartache of this ordeal was long and drawn out for Sally. But Hal, being a malpractice attorney for doctors, knew the grim truth about what their efforts to find justice would amount to: only $250,000 for the pain and suffering of an elderly woman permanently disabled by a doctor’s malpractice. Since Sally was retired and no longer working, he knew that there was no chance to get compensated more than this because of California’s arbitrary cap on non-economic damages put in place by MICRA. They ultimately decided not to pursue the case, as they didn’t want a long, drawn out court proceeding that would only drain Sally.
“This was a $250,000 case,” He said, “After all the legal fees and heart-ache, we would barely have enough to pay the bus fair home. It just wasn’t worth it,”