A man identified as D.B. won $500,000 in court for being mocked and insulted by an anesthesiologist during a colonoscopy in Reston, Virginia, in April 2013 (video below).
D.B. pressed the record button on his smartphone to document post-procedure care instructions given to him by his anesthesiologist, Tiffany M. Ingham, 42. On his way home, he pressed play and learned he recorded the entire examination while he was sedated. He found the surgical team had made mean comments during the procedure.
Ingham was recorded saying, "after five minutes of talking to you in pre-op, I wanted to punch you in the face and man you up a little bit.” After an assistant noticed a rash, Ingham said she shouldn’t touch it because she might get "some syphilis on your arm or something," then added, "It's probably tuberculosis in the penis, so you'll be all right.”
Soloman Shah, the 48-year-old gastroenterologist on hand for the procedure was dismissed from the case, although he did comment that another doctor both he and Ingham knew "would eat him for lunch,” ABC News reported.
The jury awarded D.B. $100,000 for defamation — $50,000 each for the comments about the man having syphilis and tuberculosis — and $200,000 for medical malpractice, in addition to $200,000 in punitive damages. D.B. initially sought $1.75 million in damages, The Washington Post reported
One of the jurors, Farid Khairzada, said, “There was not much defense, because everything was on tape.” He added: “We finally came to a conclusion that we have to give him something, just to make sure that this doesn’t happen again.”
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