Woman's family gets $8 million in suit against Beaumont Hospital

Suit claims woman received failed gall bladder procedure leading to her death


GROSSE POINTE, Mich. – A Wayne County jury voted unanimously this week to award $8 million to the family of a 24-year-old woman who died after being treated at Beaumont Hospital in Grosse Pointe.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the woman's son. It claimed doctors performed a failed gall bladder stone procedure in September 2009 which ultimately led to Nicki Costner's death days later at University of Michigan Hospital.

According to attorney Ven Johnson, Beaumont should have intubated Costner and used a general anesthetic because she was obese.

"They should have used a general anesthetic and an endotracheal tube to decrease the likelihood of complications, they did not do that and she aspirated her stomach contents," said Johnson in a news release. "She stopped breathing, got very sick on the respirator, was transferred to (another hospital) and died five days later."

The case was heard in Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Lita Masini Popke's courtroom. The trial began May 27 and ended with Monday's verdict.

Beaumont Hospital released a statement Thursday, saying it plans to appeal:

"We believe the care that we provided was appropriate, but we are very sorry for the family's loss. We are reviewing the decision and planning an appeal."