In an interview four years ago, Mr. Pope stated that at that point in time no one had received compensation for a “wronged life” lawsuit. Since then, several plaintiffs have received large payments, and the courts have weighed too.

In Georgia, Jacqueline Alicea won a $ 1 million settlement from the Doctors Hospital of Augusta and a surgeon there (from her insurers, to be precise). They had put their 91-year-old grandmother on a ventilator, ignoring both Ms. Alicea’s instructions as her grandmother’s health care representative and her grandmother’s prior instructions. That meant Ms. Alicea would eventually have to order the removal of the life support, a difficult decision.

Billing amounts often remain confidential, but “we wanted this bill to be called from the mountain tops,” said her attorney Harry Revell. “We wanted it to have a chilling effect on healthcare providers who don’t think it is important.”

The Alicea case, previously cited in other litigation, may have ramifications as the state appeals court and its Supreme Court, after the court denied a motion to dismiss, both ruled that the lawsuit can proceed. The parties reached an agreement on the eve of a trial in 2017.

In Montana, a jury announced what is believed to be the first verdict in an unjustified life case, awarding medical expenses of $ 209,000 and $ 200,000 in medical expenses to Rodney Knoepfle in 2019 for “mental and physical pain and suffering”.

Mr. Knoepfle was weakened by many illnesses and had a non-resuscitation order and a POLST form on his records at St. Peter’s Health, Helena’s largest hospital. “He’s been in more pain than anyone in his life and was happy with it when it was his time,” said Ben Snipes, one of his lawyers.

But a medical team resuscitated Mr. Knoepfle twice. He was tied to an oxygen tank and lived another two years before he died at the age of 69. “He’s been in almost no pain for the past few months, living in a hospital bed, and having morphine pressed into his pudding,” said Snipes.