Jury awards $10M to Ohio woman put in coma

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by John Christoffersen
Associated Press

May 13, 2011

NEW HAVEN, CONN. — A woman who went into a coma during what was supposed to be routine surgery was awarded $10.5 million by a Connecticut jury.

Karla Rosa, 44, of Logan, Ohio, and her husband won the award Thursday in New London Superior Court against Anesthesia Associates of New London, said a court clerk and her attorney Sean McElligott.

The woman, who lived at the Navy base in Groton at the time, went in for hernia repair surgery in 2006, McElligott said. He said doctors used the wrong device for patients at risk of inhaling stomach contents into their lungs during anesthesia, putting her in a coma for 26 days and leading to permanent injuries.

Rosa, whose husband is retired from the Navy, said she was "a little bit shocked but very happy" by the award. She said her injuries make it difficult to stand and walk.

"It feels like I'm walking on broken glass," she said. She also said she suffers memory loss.

A telephone message was left Thursday for an attorney for the defendants.

"I'm just happy to bring peace to this family," said McElligott of the Bridgeport law firm of Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder of Bridgeport, who worked on the case with attorney David Bernard.