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A man was awarded $150,000 for pain and suffering he incurred after having an emergency appendectomy at County Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. He was sent home from his first surgery complaining of excessive pain. Testing on a return to the hospital showed that he had a small bowel obstruction that required more surgery. The medical malpractice case was heard by an appeals court last week.

Last week, an appellate court agreed with a Compton Superior Court jury, which found that the hospital was negligent when it released Bell and that it waited too long to treat him when he came back with possibly life-threatening complications.

The 2nd District Court of Appeal upheld the jury’s $150,000 award for pain and suffering to Bell, who was 28 in August 2003, when he was a patient at Harbor-UCLA. California law caps medical malpractice awards for pain and suffering at $250,000.

The hospital has no comment on the case. The hospital has lost several medical malpractice cases in the past.

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