Strange Case of Medical Malpractice

I found this over at injuryboard.com which highlights a unique case of medical malpractice, and the problems faced when a doctor does not have medical malpractice insurance:

A Hawaii jury has awarded damages of nearly $5.6 million in a lawsuit against a surgeon who placed a piece of a screwdriver in the patient’s back.

Two hours into the surgery the doctor discovered that the titanium rods to be placed in the patient’s back were missing and he improvised a new rod by cutting the shaft of a stainless steel medical screwdriver. He did this despite the fact that a representative of the medical supply company said another set of titanium rods could be at the hospital in 90 minutes. A week later the piece of screwdriver broke requiring another operation. Further surgery was required and the patient later died from complications.

The defendant physician, Robert Ricketson, did not carry malpractice insurance and served as his own attorney. Dr. Ricketson is expected not to practice further in Hawaii, because under Hawaiilaw his earnings would go towards paying his share of the damages awarded for the death of his patient.