Jury awards $6 million in Dayton malpractice suit

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DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A Montgomery County jury awarded $6 million in a medical malpractice case Friday.

According to lawyers for the family, Karla Fountaine was under the care of a doctor at Good Samaritan hospital while she was pregnant in 2009 when she died.

Lawyers say Fountaine became ill in February 2009 with a cough, headaches, had gained an unusual amount of weight and had increased blood pressure. According to the lawyers, doctors admitted Fountaine and diagnosed her with classic pre-eclampsia. No obstetrical consultation was requested and Fountaine was sent home.

In March, Fountaine was back at the Good Samaritan hospital with extremely high blood pressure, headaches and vomiting. Family lawyers say she was readmitted and a nurse later found her unconscious. An emergency C-Section was performed to save the baby but Fountaine continued to deteriorate and she died at the hospital.

A malpractice suit was filed against Dr. Cheryl Gill claiming 34-year-old Fountaine died after physicians and hospital staff failed to diagnose pre-eclampsia and eclampsia during the course of the pregnancy while in the care of Good Samaritan Hospital and Dr. Cheryl Gill.

After four hours of testimony, a jury awarded a verdict of $6,067,830 to the widower. Lawyers for the widower say this is one of the largest verdicts ever awarded against a physician in Dayton.

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