Military veteran Charles Brown sued Dr. Matthew Barchie of Keesler Medical Center, a U.S. Air Force hospital, on account of botching a 2016 abscess drainage procedure performed on him that resulted in Brown’s lung, liver and heart being punctured with a surgical instrument…law360, Military Doc’s Negligence Leads To $3.6M Med Mal Verdict, Y. Peter Kang, 2020

Upon finding that the Barchie’s negligence was the proximate cause of Brown’s long-term medical problems and other debilitating injuries, the judge in November awarded $500,000 for noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering, the maximum allowed under Mississippi law, but left the issue of economic damages unresolved due to a dispute over potential reductions.

In 2020, U.S. District Judge Tom S. Lee determined that military veteran Charles Brown is entitled to approximately $3.1 million in past and future medical expenses making the total award $3.6 million. The government’s principal argument was that the bulk of past medical expenses and virtually all future medical expenses were or will be paid by Tricare; therefore, an award for economic damages should be limited.

The judge disagreed, saying that it was too speculative to assume that Tricare will continue to exist or at least continue to exist in its current form, for the remainder of Mr. Brown’s life expectancy so as to cover his future expenses. Hence, an award covering those expenses was necessary.

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Kayur V. Patel, MD, MRO, FACP, FACPE, FACHE, FACEP
KayurVPatel@ExpertWitness.MD