How translation mistakes cause big problems

In 1980, 18-year old WIllie Ramirez was admitted to a Florida hospital in a comatose state. His friends and family tried to describe his condiiton to the paramedics and doctors who treated him, but they only spoke Spanish. Translation was provided by a bilingual staff member who translated "intoxicado" as "intoxicated." A profesional interpreter would have known that "intoxicado" is closer to "poisoned" and doesn't carry the same connotations of drug or alcohol use that "intoxicated" does. Ramirez's family believed he was suffering from food poisoning. He was actually suffering from an intracerebral hemorrhage, but the doctors proceeded as if he were suffering from an intentional drug overdose, which can lead to some of the symptoms he displayed. Because of the delay in treatment, Ramirez was left quadriplegic. He received a malpractice settlement of $71 million.

source: mentalfloss.com/article/48795/9-little-translation-mistakes-caused-big-problems