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Couple awarded $6.4M in failure to diagnose case


Posted by Brendan Faulkner of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Aug 07, 2013 in Failure To Diagnose

A St. Louis man and his wife were recently awarded more than $6 million in a lawsuit against the man's doctor. We thought this story might be relevant to Connecticut residents because it seems like the sort of incident that could happen anywhere, including here in New Haven.

The man, who is now 59, suffered an acute stroke in 2007 as the result of an infection related to a heart condition. His doctor was aware that the man had a heart condition, but never referred him to a cardiologist (even though he referred him to other specialists) or ordered any follow-up tests after the single, original test that discovered the heart condition.

As a result of the stroke, the man now has limited use of the left side of his body, reduced short-term memory and difficulty processing language. He has not been able to return to his job as an IT specialist and bank examiner with the Federal Reserve.

Last month, a St. Louis County jury awarded the man $6.4 million in his "failure to diagnose" lawsuit against the doctor. The doctor has not said whether he plans to appeal the ruling.

As we said, this seems like the sort of incident that could happen just about anywhere. The reason we say that is because doctors everywhere make mistakes all the time, and innocent people are harmed as a result. We do not mean to be scaremongers, but it's just a fact, and we feel Connecticut readers should be aware of it.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Maryland Heights couple win $6.4 million medical malpractice verdict," Walker Moskop, July 9, 2013