June 29, 2017
Anesthesiologist Sued For Mocking Unconscious Man, Patient Awarded $500K

Anesthesiologist Tiffany Ingham was sued for mocking an unconscious man in her care. The patient was awarded $500,000 in a recently settled lawsuit. A surgical team was caught mocking an unconscious patient before conducting surgery in Virginia.

A Vienna area man decided to record the post-op instructions uttered by his doctor to make sure he followed them exactly after going home from surgery. The patient pressed the record button on his smartphone before being wheeled into the Reston, Virginia, operating room. His cell phone kept recording after he drifted off to sleep.

Dr. Tiffany Ingham and the surgical team apparently did not know their comments were being preserved by the patient. The anesthesiologist reportedly worked out of the Aisthesis anesthesia practice in Bethesda, Maryland. Ingham reportedly no longer works at Aisthesis. The gastroenterologist who performed the colonoscopy, Soloman Shah, 48, was dismissed from the lawsuit, although court documents indicate that Shah did made "some insulting remarks" about the patient.

The man was identified only as "D.B." in court records, in an effort to protect his privacy. He sued Dr. Ingham and members of the surgical team for both malpractice and defamation. After a 3-day trial, a Fairfax County jury ordered the anesthesiologist and her practice to pay $500,000 to the patient.

When the Virginia man pressed play on the cell phone recording as he was transported home from the surgical procedure, he was reportedly extremely upset and shocked by the comments made by Dr. Tiffany Ingham. The unidentified patient did not realize he had recorded the entire examination by the medical team before he was transported to surgery. According to the lawsuit, he had only intended to record the doctor's instructions.

"After five minutes of talking to you in pre-op," anesthesiologist Ingham, 42, said over the sedated patient, "I wanted to punch you in the face and man you up a little bit." After deeming the patient a "big wimp," Ingham then said "People are into their medical problems. They need to have medical problems," lawsuit documents state.

A doctor on the surgical team can also reportedly be heard telling another medical care provider to "lie to him" and to write a "false diagnosis" on his chart. A surgical assistant told team members that the patient said he became queasy when watching the needle being inserted into his arm. The anesthesiologist said, "Well, why are you looking then, retard?"

A medical assistant reportedly stated that the patient had a rash. The anesthesiologist is then heard warning her not to touch it, saying that the she might get "some syphilis on your arm or something." Dr. Ingham then said, "It's probably tuberculosis in the penis, so you'll be all right."

"There was not much defense, because everything was on tape," juror Farid Khairzada said. He also added that the patient's attorneys were suing for $1.75 million. Khairzada also noted that the lawsuit award was the result of a compromise between a juror who felt the patient should not get a dime and and at least one who felt he deserved more. "We finally came to a conclusion that we have to give him something, just to make sure that this doesn't happen again."

What do you think about the anesthesiologist being sued for the mocking slurs and the patient being awarded $500,000?

[Image via Shutterstock]