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Two Massachusetts General Hospital doctors have agreed to pay $4.5 million to settle a malpractice lawsuit brought by the family of a Plymouth woman who died at the hospital.
Physicians failed to take measures that might have prevented the death of Geraldine Moran, 62, in 2005, said Benjamin Novotny, a lawyer for her three children.
Moran was taken to MGH after falling off a 6-foot ladder. Doctors found one of her ribs had cracked in such a way that its sharp tip was close to her aorta.
Instead of treating her right away, the doctors kept her overnight and in the morning the rib punctured the aorta and she died, Novotny told The Boston Globe.
"It's basically like you have a knife next to a balloon," Novotny said.
After two weeks in trial, the doctors settled this month, Novotny said.
The doctors, Alasdair Conn and George Velmahos, still work at MGH and had no comment on the case, but have the support of the administration.
The hospital supports the doctors and believes they acted appropriately, spokesman Michael Morrison said in a statement.
"It is disheartening when physicians who take on some of the most difficult cases and are committed to doing what they can to save lives are faced with malpractice litigation," the statement said.