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Oakwood Hospital ordered to pay patient's family $21 million

Hospital operated on wrong patient, attorney says

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DETROIT – Oakwood Hospital has been ordered by a jury to pay $21 million to the family of a woman who had a brain operation she didn't need.

In a statement Wednesday, the attorney for Bimla Nayyar's family, Geoffrey Fieger, said the 81-year-old was hospitalized at the hospital in January 2012 with jaw joint problems.

"Oakwood Hospital claimed that it mistakenly thought that Mrs. Nayyar was bleeding in her brain and needed an immediate brain operation," Fieger said.

After five holes were drilled into her head, the hospital "realized nothing was wrong with her but did not inform the family that they had operated on the wrong patient," Fieger said.

Nayyar was on life support for 60 days before she died, Fieger said.

The hospital initially denied responsibility before admitting it had operated on the wrong patient, but still claimed no harm was done, Fieger said.

Nayyar was survived by her husband, three children and several grandchildren.

Oakwood has made the following statement on the case:

"We're very concerned about how the details of this case have been portrayed.

"This matter will be appealed.

"However, because this is an active legal case, we cannot comment any further."