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Alex Cabrero Reporting"We believe she went without air for three minutes, possibly as many as seven minutes."
She went in for gastric bypass surgery, but came out with more than she ever bargained for. A jury awarded the woman more than three million dollars for complications after her surgery at St. Marks Hospital here in Salt Lake. But her attorneys are asking for more and are going back to court.
St. Mark's feels it's not at fault for what happened. They're going to declare a mistrial. This all began four years ago, during one of the worst times in American history. It's a moment we'll never forget, especially Kathleen Fleming, but for a different reason.
Kathleen Fleming: “You always trust doctors, thinking they’re true.”
Now she doesn't trust doctors at all. You see, Fleming was at St. Mark's hospital on Sept. 11th 2001after developing a leak from having gastric bypass surgery a month before.But as America watched what was unfolding, something went wrong with Fleming's breathing.
Edward McBride, Fleming's Attorney: “We argued that alarm rang for 32 minutes before she was responded to.”
Clark Newhall, Fleming's Attorney: “Failures of the nurses to closely monitor and care for her resulted in an obstruction of her trachea. She basically suffocated.”
Her attorneys say the lack of air injured her brain, resulting in slurred speech, an inability to walk, and partial blindness.
Wednesday a jury awarded her close to 3.5 million dollars; she was asking for 16 million.
Clark Newhall: “That amount of money is insufficient to care for her.”
Her attorneys say the decision was outrageous, and so does St. Mark's.
Deb Reiner, St. Mark's Hospital: "We will be filing motions for a mistrial as well as for a motion that would allow the judge to overturn the jury's verdict."
St. Mark's says the judge reduced the 3.5million dollars to 1.7 because Fleming smoked cigarettes and shared responsibility for her condition. They also say September 11th had nothing to do with what happened.
Deb Reiner: “We are confident Miss Fleming got the best care at every moment of her stay here.”
Of course, Fleming doesn't think so.
St. Mark's says it will file court papers sometime next week. Flemings attorneys say they'll do it tomorrow. It's been a long battle that's only going to be longer.