SOUTHFIELD, Mich. May 7, 2015 – Nationally known trial lawyer Geoffrey Fieger announced yesterday, May 6, 2015 at 12 p.m. in the courtroom of Sheila Ann Gibson of the Wayne County Circuit Court, a Wayne County jury awarded a $21 million verdict against Oakwood Hospital as a result of doing a brain operation on the wrong patient and killing her.
The jury also asked, in a note to the court, whether in their verdict they could demand that Oakwood Hospital apologize for its wrongful and outrageous conduct. This is the largest verdict of 2015 in Michigan.
Bimla Nayyar, age 81, of Belleville, was hospitalized at Oakwood Hospital in January of 2012 for problems relating to a dislocation of her temporomandibular joint (TMJ). For reasons that are beyond comprehension, Oakwood Hospital claimed that it mistakenly thought that Nayyar was bleeding in her brain and needed an immediate brain operation.
She was taken to the operating room where five holes were drilled into her head and the right side of her skull was sawed out. At that time, they realized that there was nothing wrong with her, but did not inform the family that they had operated on the wrong patient. Nayyar lingered on life support for another 60 days until she mercifully died. She suffered horribly.
At first, the hospital denied all responsibility. However, two years later, Oakwood admitted that they had operated on the wrong patient, but, told the jury, at trial, that they had done no harm to her, although it admitted operating on the wrong patient.
In closing arguments, attorney John Monnich for Oakwood Hospital, asked the jury to send the plaintiffs back to India as their verdict. The jury deliberated for approximately three hours before rendering their historic verdict.
Bimla Nayyar is survived by her husband, Ramesh, her son and two daughters, and many grandchildren. Her ashes, as in the Hinduism custom, were taken back to India by her son Rakesh and spread upon the holy River Ganges.