Tabitha Mullings, a Brooklyn-based mother of three, recently won a $17.9 million settlement from the City of New York and a hospital after a misdiagnosis resulted in the loss of her hands, feet and vision.
However, the settlement has been three years in the making for 35-year-old Mullings, according to the New York Daily News. In Sept. 2008, the mother was diagnosed with a kidney stone at the Brooklyn Hospital Center emergency room.
Although Mullings, who was initially picked up by paramedics, was given painkillers and sent home, she experienced more pain and numbness the very next day. However, FDNY paramedics refused to take her back to the hospital on the second day after she called 911 twice.
Instead, Mullings' fiancé took her to Fort Greene hospital, where she was diagnosed with a sepsis infection that spread throughout her body. Gangrene spread to the hands and feet of Mullings, who fell into a coma.
After waking up from her unconsciousness state, Mullings discovered that she had lost her hands, feet and vision in one eye. The mother of three boys reacted by suing the hospital for her injuries, resulting in Brooklyn Hospital Center and two of its doctors having to paying $9.4 million.
The City of New York will also be mandated to pay $8.5 million to Mullings. Sanford Rubenstein, Mullings' lawyer, said the settlement was a sign of justice taking place.
"This is a fair and reasonable and amicable resolution," Rubenstein said in the Daily News report. "Justice has been done."
Although the publication reported that the Brooklyn Hospital Center has maintained that it provided Mullings with "excellent care," the City attorney admitted that the settlement was fair. Sheila Gomez, New York City lawyer, said that the settlement was a better option than taking the case to trial.
"Given the extent of the injuries and the uncertainties of the trial process, we believe that settlement was in the best interest of all parties," Gomez said.
Mullings, who has learned to walk with prosthetics after five months of rehabilitation therapy, said she is attempting to shift her focus to being a mother once again.
"Now that the lawsuit is behind me, I look forward to going on with my life and caring for my children the best I can," she said in the Daily News report. "I pray what happens to me never happens to anyone again."