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Ayer woman agrees to $9.5M settlement in flesh-eating bacteria case


LOWELL — An Ayer woman who lost all her limbs to a flesh-eating bacteria at Emerson Hospital in Concord six years ago has agreed to a $9.5 million settlement in her medical malpractice lawsuit.

In Lowell Superior Court on Thursday, Monica Sprague Jorge, 41, agreed to dismiss her consolated 2009 and 2010 lawsuits against doctors Jay Hendelman, Timothy Hale, Charles Hardin, Benjamin Raby, the Kramer OB-GYN associates and nurses Mary Conway, Amy Gabale, Rita Pomeroy, Helen Farrah and Ronda Forand in exchange for the settlement.

Jorge, 41, walked into court using two prosthetic legs with no support other than her husband’s arm. She wore a short-sleeved shirt that showed both arms had been amputated at the elbows.

Jorge sued the doctors and the nurses who treated her. She alleged they failed to monitor her and provide quick or adequate care after she gave birth via a C-section on Aug. 11, 2007 to her daughter Sofia, now 6. As a result, the suit alleged, Jorge had to have her arms and legs amputated.

The lawsuit, filed by Jorge’s attorney Clyde D. Bergstresser, alleged that the medical professionals failed to review the patient’s pertinent history, failed to appropriately monitor and report vital signs, failed to appropriately examine the Jorge’s wound and failed to appropriately report the seriousness of the patient’s condition.

None of the attorneys present at the hearing would comment about the settlement. One attorney, who did not wish to be named, said a settlement was the right outcome.

The settlement will be used to pay medical bills, lawyers’ fees, a 31-year structured settlement and two irrevocable trusts set up for daughters Sofia and Madelyn, who was 9 at the time.

During the hearing, Bergstresser said Madelyn has been a “big help” to her mother and “suffered along” with her.

McEvoy, who approved the daughters’ share of the settlement, described Jorge as “a hero.”

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