MARCH 5, 2012 -- NEW YORK -- A brave Brooklyn mom whose hands and feet were amputated in a shocking medical nightmare has won a $17.9 million settlement from the city and a hospital.
The payout means the end of a three-year legal battle for Tabitha Mullings — though her fight to live a normal life may never be over.
“The reality is, I'm going to be like this the rest of my life,” said Mullings, 35, who was also partially blinded by a massive infection after doctors sent her home from the hospital and paramedics refused to take her back.
“I'm always going to have to have help to do everything, using the bathroom, using a toothbrush. I can’t do anything on my own,” said Mullings, who has three sons.
Money, she said, will not erase the grim reality she faces when she opens her eyes each morning.
“I dream about running and jumping rope double Dutch and then I wake up and it’s not like that,” she said. “Waking up is a nightmare.”
“I may be the strongest woman on Earth; at the end of the day someone has to put a pin in my hair.”
Mullings’ tale of horror began in September 2008 when she went to the Brooklyn Hospital Center emergency room and was sent home with the diagnosis of a kidney stone and some painkillers.
The next day Mullings was beset by agonizing pain and numbness and called 911 twice. FDNY medics did not take her back to the hospital.
Her fiancé rushed her to the Fort Greene hospital the next day, but she had developed a sepsis infection that spread through her body.
She lapsed into a coma and gangrene spread to her extremities. When she woke, her hands and feet were gone, and she was legally blind in one eye.
She filed suit while still in the hospital and has been waging a court battle while trying to recover from her devastating injuries.
A judge refused to dismiss the lawsuit. Now Brooklyn Hospital and two of its doctors will fork over $9.4 million, and the city will pay $8.5 million.
“This is a fair and reasonable and amicable resolution,” Mullings’ lawyer, Sanford Rubenstein said. “Justice has been done.”
Brooklyn Hospital insists it did nothing wrong, saying it gave Mullings “excellent care” and decided to settle because a sympathetic jury would have been swayed by her “profound” injuries.
The city also feared a large jury verdict.
“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,” city lawyer Sheila Gomez said.
Mullings, who has high-tech prosthetics to help her with daily activities, reacted to the settlement with the same determination she showed while relearning how to walk during five months of rehab.
“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.
“I pray what happens to me never happens to anyone again.”Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/multiple-amputee-tabitha-mullings-wins-17-9m-settlement-article-1.1033059#ixzz1oHFyU3AJ