Woman wins $17.9M in amputation settlement

March 5, 2012 2:00:16 PM PST
A Brooklyn woman will get nearly $18 million for her pain and suffering.

Her hands and legs were amputated after a massive infection.

She sued the hospital, doctors, and New York City, but of course, nothing makes up for her loss.

"I pray it doesn't happen to anybody else," said Tabitha Mullings, amputee.

Tabitha Mullings says people call her the strongest woman in the world but she can't do the basic things most of us take for granted, like combing her hair, brushing her teeth, or using the bathroom on her own.

Still, the mother of three refuses to feel sorry for herself.

"Now that this is over I hope to move forward," Mullings said.

In 2008, Mullings went to Brooklyn Hospital's emergency room.

She was sent home with a kidney stone diagnosis and painkillers.

The next day Mullings says she felt agonizing pain and numbness.

She called 911 twice but FDNY medics did not take her back to the hospital.

So, she went to Fort Greene Hospital the next day, and an infection had spread through her body.

She lapsed into a coma and gangrene spread to her extremities.

When she woke, her hands and feet were gone, and she was legally blind in one eye.

Mullings filed a lawsuit while still recovering from her devastating injuries in the hospital.

After a three year court battle, Brooklyn Hospital and its doctors agreed to fork over $9.4 million and the city will pay $8.5 million.

"This is fair and equitable," said Sanford Rubenstein, Mullings' attorney.

"She can't roll back the clock. She was justly compensated," said another attorney.

Mullings uses high-tech prosthetics to help her with daily activities.

She says the legal battle may be done, but her fight for a normal life may never be over.

"It's a struggle day to day," Mullings said.

Brooklyn Hospital insists it did nothing wrong, saying it gave Mullings "excellent care" and decided to settle because a sympathetic jury would have been swayed by her "profound" injuries.

The city also feared a large jury verdict and believes that settlement was in the best interest of all parties.

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