A four-month legal battle between Northeast Georgia Medical Center and a former patient over an amputation procedure recently ended in an out of court settlement.
Forsyth County News reported Tuesday that the patient, Diana Stamps, came to an agreement with the Gainesville hospital. Stamp’s attorney said that the settlement is confidential and refused to disclose any details.
The Gainesville Times originally reported on the lawsuit in January. Stamp filed suit in September of 2015 in regards to a 2014 leg amputation procedure she underwent at Northeast Georgia Medical Center. According to the lawsuit, Stamp wished to have the leg buried after the operation, in accordance with her religious beliefs. Instead, the hospital supposedly discarded the limb.
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Stamp claims that the hospital’s action caused her “irreparable harm.” She sued for breach of contract, unjust enrichment from studying the leg, negligent performance of voluntary undertaking, breach of fiduciary duty, bailment, and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
The plaintiff never revealed what religion she adheres to, only that she has to be buried with all of her limbs in order to receive “salvation.”
In the lawsuit, Stamp also asserted that the hospital asked her if they could study the leg before it was sent to the funeral home, to which she consented. However, the leg was then reportedly discarded and never sent to the funeral home.
At the time of the suit being filed, Northeast Georgia denied Stamp’s allegations and claimed that the conversation about studying the leg never took place.
After the settlement, Forsyth County News contacted Northeast Georgia Medical Center. Public relations manager Sean Couch declined to comment.
It is common in the U.S. for medical suits to be settled out of court. The Civil Justice Resource Group estimates that less than one percent of malpractice cases are actually settled in court.
The National Practitioner Data Bank reports that over $93 million were paid out in malpractice suits across Georgia in 2014, the most recent year on record.