On June 30, 2017, a Baltimore medical malpractice jury returned its verdict in favor of the family of a 22-year-old woman in the amount of just over $1 million for her wrongful death due to medical malpractice. During the five-day Baltimore medical malpractice trial, the jury heard testimony regarding the medical care the young woman received at two Baltimore hospitals that her family claimed was inadequate and constituted medical negligence that caused her death.
The woman was admitted to a local Baltimore hospital in March 2013 with complaints of pain and leg swelling. She was found to have an elevated white blood count and elevated pulse rate, according to the family’s Baltimore medical malpractice lawsuit. During the woman’s four-day inpatient hospital stay, her treating physician requested an infectious disease consultation. The infectious disease specialist suspected that the woman had cellulitis for which he recommended that she have scans of her abdomen, pelvis, and leg, and that she be given antibiotics.
The attending physician ordered antibiotics but did not order the scans recommended by the infectious disease specialist. During her inpatient hospital stay, the woman continued to suffer from swelling despite being administered antibiotics. The woman was discharged from the hospital with oral antibiotics and a walker.
The woman went to another Baltimore hospital’s emergency room less than two weeks after her discharge from the first hospital with symptoms consistent with an infection but a registered nurse at the second hospital misdiagnosed the woman with a urinary tract infection and discharged her from the emergency room.
Two days later, the woman returned to the emergency room with an infection. The woman went into cardiac arrest and died on March 29, 2013. An autopsy determined the cause of the woman’s death to be septic shock from cellulitis and necrotizing fasciitis.
The family’s Baltimore medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that both the first and second hospitals breached the standard of care in treating the woman by failing to properly diagnose and treat the woman’s infection, and that their medical negligence resulted in the woman’s death. The defendant attending physician at the first hospital argued that the woman’s initial infection had cleared up and that she acquired another infection when subsequently seen in the emergency room.
The Baltimore medical malpractice jury determined that the defendant infectious disease specialist was not liable for the woman’s death and that the registered nurse in the emergency room of the second hospital had breached the standard of care but her medical negligence was not the cause of the woman’s death. The Baltimore medical malpractice jury found that the defendant attending physician during the woman’s initial hospital stay had breached the standard of care for failing to order the scans recommended by the defendant infectious disease specialist.
The Baltimore wrongful death jury awarded the woman’s family $500,000 in noneconomic damages and $501,544 in economic damages that included compensation for lost services and funeral expenses.
The Baltimore medical malpractice wrongful death case is captioned Fowlkes v. Maryland General Hospital Inc. and was filed on March 28, 2016 in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City (Case No. 24C16001919).
If you or a family member suffered serious injury (or worse) that may be due to medical negligence in Baltimore or elsewhere in the United States, you should promptly find a Baltimore medical malpractice lawyer, or a medical malpractice lawyer in your location, who may investigate your possible medical malpractice claim for you, and represent you or your family member in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
Click on the “Contact Us Now” tab to the right, visit our website, or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959 to find medical malpractice attorneys in your state who may assist you.
Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.