Most people assume that there’s a disparity in the medical care that people receive when they’re poor and the kind of attention and care they get when they’re famous and wealthy — but a shocking new revelation about the death of astronaut Neil Armstrong shows that medical malpractice can happen to anyone.
Armstrong died in 2012 when he was 82-years-old. Most people assumed that his death was simply the product of age. However, in reality, a Cincinnati hospital quietly settled a $6 million survival action and wrongful death claim. The survival action was a personal injury claim tied to the former astronaut’s personal pain and suffering from the malpractice prior to his death. The wrongful death claim was tied to the losses suffered by his family due to his untimely passing.
Mercy Health, the hospital where Armstrong received heart surgery, paid the claim after an expert at the hospital indicated there were major issues with the care Armstrong received following his coronary bypass surgery. Initially, the former astronaut responded very well to the surgery and the outlook on his health was positive. Complications set in when the nurses removed the wires from his temporary pacemaker, causing internal bleeding and making his blood pressure fall dramatically.
Ultimately, it took very little to get the hospital to capitulate to the family’s demands. The wife of one of Armstrong’s sons, herself an attorney, let the hospital know that it could either pay up or endure the public backlash from exposure over the incident. The hospital paid up and the whole thing stayed silent until a journalist investigated. Even now, the Armstrong family is bound by nondisclosure agreements tied to the settlement.
Situations like this are a reminder that no one is immune from medical mistakes. If your loved one died as a result of a hospital’s or doctor’s failure, you may be able to hold the guilty party financially liable.