Ex-Wife Gets to Keep Malpractice Settlement

     (CN) – An Iowa man is not entitled to most of his ex-wife’s $2.7 million medical malpractice settlement, the Iowa Court of Appeals ruled, because his ex-wife faces “potentially large future medical expenses.”

     Steven and Wendy Laude won a $2.7 million lawsuit against the hospitals and lab where Wendy’s misread pap smears led to her contracting cervical cancer, which spread to her ovaries and caused premature menopause.
     The couple divorced in 2009 after 27 years of marriage. The trial court awarded Steven $806,000 and Wendy $2.5 million based on Wendy’s medical history and the fact that Steven stopped working after the malpractice award.
     The state appeals court affirmed the decision, citing Steven’s advantages over Wendy.
     “Wendy testified she worries ‘every day that I will have a cancer recurrence. We have got a $1 million lifetime max. I’m scared all the time that I will either be uninsurable or be having to pay incredible out-of-pocket costs,'” the ruling states.
     “Wendy needs these funds, as she is in a much more vulnerable financial position than Steven given her physical ailments, lower earning capacity, and potentially large future medical expenses,” Judge Richard Doyle concluded.

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