On Tuesday, San Francisco supervisors approved a $5.1 million dollar settlement that stems back to a 2005 medical malpractice incident that occurred at San Francisco General Hospital.
The settlement is the largest in recent memory that involves a medical malpractice case, according to a spokesman for City Attorney.
The city admitted to mishandling the case of John Weatherspoon III, who visited the hospital on June 2005 complaining of fever and cough symptoms that had persisted for over a week, according to documents filed in San Francisco Superior Court.
Medical staff determined Weatherspoon, who was 40 at the time, was suffering from acute renal failure and gave him sedatives, according to the court documents. The hospital staff then allegedly failed to monitor Weatherspoon following successive doses of sedatives and he suffered cardiorespiratory failure and was “down for nine minutes,” according to a medical examination included in the court documents.
As a result, Weatherspoon suffered anoxic brain injury and now requires 24-hour care. He stayed at the hospital until February 2006, when he was transferred to Laguna Honda Hospital, where he remains.
Damages sought – initially $10 million – are to be used to pay for home care for the duration of his life. He will receive $4.2 after paying fees and expenses associated with the settlement.
Previously, he settled a suit with the University of California for $250,000. San Francisco General Hospital is staffed by UCSF physicians; other staff personnel are city employees.
The Mayor must still approve the settlement. The city’s office would not comment on the settlement in further detail.