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Michelle Woo

Michelle Woo was a baker in San Francisco, a mother, and an active member in her community.  And when she was told she would need heart surgery, her daughter wanted to ensure she received the best care possible, so Michele was taken to Mountain View Hospital, a facility known for its quality surgical care.  And the surgery itself went off without incident.  It was only after the procedure did things start to go awry.

Michelle was prescribed Coumadin, a powerful blood thinner.  Although the negative side-effects were well known about this drug, the Doctors sent her home without monitoring her symptoms or even telling her family members to keep an eye on her.  The following week, she grew sick, lethargic, and lost her appetite.  In spite of worried calls to the doctor from Michele's family, they were assured not to worry and that she would be fine.  But by the weeks end, she died of a heart attack.

Michelle's daughter, Jessica, decided to pursue the case to get justice for her mother.  A jury decided that the Doctor acted in gross negligence, the doctor's own attorney agreeing the drug was powerful and required monitoring from medical professionals.  Jessica was awarded $138,000 for medical costs and funeral services and a million dollars for the grief of losing her mom.  But because of California's MICRA cap, that reward was lowered by $750,000.  The life of her mother, the state of California decided, was worth no more than $250,000.