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Harrison Police Officer Awarded 13 Million for Wife's Death

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A New York jury has awarded a Harrison police officer and his children $13 million in a malpractice suit he filed in 2012 after his wife died days after undergoing surgery in Manhattan.

Cheryl Raefski, 43, underwent surgery to remove a polyp from her colon at NYU Langone Medical Center in November 2011 but surgeon Dr. Christian Hirsch did not realize he burned a portion of her small bowel during the procedure, according to a report in The New York Post.

Raefski was in excruciating pain and on powerful pain medication after the surgery, but Hirsch did not order a CAT scan until four days later. The scan detected a severe infection. Before doctors could operate, Raefski died of septic shock, The Post reported.

Her husband -- Harrison Police Officer Darren Raefski -- sued the doctor and the Manhattan jury took less than a day to award his family $13 million. The couple's children, Madison, 17, and twins Kyle and Paige, 13, will get $3 million each and the father will get the remainder, according to the report.

"I take care of you now, but your mother did a better job than I did because she's still taking care of you," Raefski told his children after the verdict, The Post reported.

Darren Raefski, a 24-year veteran of the department, made the news in 2016 after making a daring arrest in the case of a stolen truck.

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