MAHONING CO., Ohio (WKBN) — A jury in Mahoning County last Friday awarded $2 million to the estate of a young Columbiana woman who died after complications of having her tonsils removed.
According to court records and a news release from the law firm of Betras, Kopp and Markota, the jury ruled in favor of the estate of 20-year-old Megan Clay.
In March 2018, Clay experienced significant bleeding 36 hours after the tonsillectomy procedure and underwent surgery at Mercy Health Boardman under the direction of Dr. Richard Pearlstein.
According to the prosecutor, Clay needed to undergo intubation so that the bleeding could be repaired. Due to clots and swelling from the initial surgery, multiple attempts to intubate failed, causing Clay to bleed profusely again.
While the surgeon performed an emergency tracheotomy, Clay went into cardiac arrest and died. An autopsy report found that she had died of blood loss.
The doctor who performed the autopsy later changed his opinion on the cause of death after records that were not available during the time of the original autopsy were brought up in court. The doctor testified that lack of oxygen was a cause of the cardiac arrest.
The jury determined Pearlstein’s actions constituted medical negligence and awarded the estate a $2 million verdict.
Aileen Blaine and Sara Pompeo contributed to this report.