Spaniard in 23-year coma dies

Spaniard in 23-year coma dies

Antonio Meño, the Spaniard who was in a 23-year coma brought on by medical negligence, has died, sources at the law firm representing his family told EFE Tuesday.

Meño was 21 when he went into a vegetative coma July 3, 1989, after undergoing a rhinoplasty at a Madrid clinic that later was absolved of blame in lawsuits filed by his parents.

In the first ruling in 1993, the court obligated the insurance company to pay Meño the equivalent of more than 1 million euros.

Even so, the Supreme Court ultimately concluded that there was no medical negligence in the case and overturned the judgment.

After this decision, Meño's parents in 2009 began a lengthy sit-in on the street outside the Justice Ministry in the center of Madrid to demand a decent outcome in their son's situation.

The case took another turn when Ignacio Frade, a surgeon who had been present during Meño's operation, passed by the tent the family had set up outside the ministry, learned what had happened and offered to testify that the anesthesiologist was away from the operating room when the patient's heart rhythm became irregular.

On Nov 17, 2010, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal presented by the family.

After that, Meño's family returned home after spending 522 days camped out in front of the ministry.

Finally, in July 2011, the family received an indemnity of 1.07 million euros (about $1.39 million).

Meño was buried Monday, one of the family's lawyers said.

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