9 years after misdiagnosis, victim wins malpractice suit
Posted by Thomas Pettinicchi of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Apr 02, 2013 in Failure To Diagnose
In March 2004, a woman went to see a doctor after she had been suffering from a variety of health concerns. The doctor gave the woman a devastating diagnosis that no one wants to ever hear: She had terminal cancer. The problem, however, was that the woman did not have cancer. The doctor's careless misdiagnosis resulted in years of medical bills, a life-changing amputation and a lawsuit that would take nine years to resolve. Connecticut residents may have read about the devastating case.
According to reports, the woman filed her lawsuit after her physician wrongly diagnosed her pneumonia as cancer. He did not conduct a proper physical examination before determining it was cancer and the woman then fell into a coma as a result of the undiagnosed pneumonia. Her foot also had to be amputated because of the coma. Unfortunately, this was not the first time the doctor had faced punishment for being negligent in providing accurate care for his patients.
Sources indicate the physician had been disciplined multiple times for similar instances of misdiagnosis, including a failure to diagnose rectal cancer and not properly identifying symptoms of an impending heart attack. He also has a history of improperly prescribing methadone to patients with addictions.
The most recent lawsuit against the doctor took several years to come to a conclusion. An initial verdict in 2008 was in favor of the doctor, but the case was marred by inappropriate and disparaging comments about the woman's attorney made by members of the jury. The first case ended with a declaration of a mistrial and the case was heard a second time by a second jury who ultimately awarded the woman $813,000 in damages.
The award is intended to compensate the woman for both her future and past medical bills, as well as for her pain and suffering. The damages awarded are also intended to recognize that the woman's life will be forever changed by the amputation of her left foot. Even though it took nine years for the woman to win her case against the negligent doctor, the important thing is that she was ultimately awarded compensation for all that she has gone through and all that she will continue to deal with going forward.
Source: The Spokesman-Review, "Suit against doctor yields $813,000," Thomas Clouse, March 29, 2013