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Jury awards $5 million for doctor’s failed diagnosis

Nov 27, 2012 | Failure to Diagnose

Last week, we wrote about the dangers of an inaccurate or failed medical diagnosis. This week, an out-of-state story shows how truly devastating a doctor’s failed diagnosis can be.

In 2007, a woman was taken to the emergency room with a severe headache. She began to experience slurred speech and was given a CT scan. The radiologist reading the scan, however, did not find any major problems or abnormalities.

The woman’s condition became more serious, and she was eventually flown to another hospital. There, a second CT scan was done which showed that the woman had suffered a stroke. The woman underwent brain surgery. However, to this day, she has difficulties performing daily tasks.

The woman and her husband filed a lawsuit against the radiologist in 2010. According to the lawsuit, a neurologist read the first scan and determined that it showed "significant abnormalities."

Despite the couple’s hardships, a jury recently ruled in their favor and awarded them $5 million. Although no amount of money can undo the past, it can be used to cover the costs of the woman’s rehabilitation services, which she may need for the rest of her life.

Doctors in New York City and elsewhere have a duty to provide appropriate care to their patients in a timely manner. Had the woman in this story been properly diagnosed sooner, she may not have suffered such severe complications. This story shows that patients have legal options to pursue if a doctor’s negligent actions cause them to suffer further harm.

Source: Seacoast Online, "Couple awarded $5m in medical malpractice suit," Aaron Sanborn, Nov. 20, 2012

A delayed diagnosis can mean the difference between life and death. Our firm works with victims of medical malpractice. To learn more, please visit our website.