On June 24, 2015, a Connecticut medical malpractice jury found in favor of the medical malpractice plaintiff and against a primary care physician and a cardiologist, awarding $3 million in compensatory damages. The Connecticut medical malpractice trial lasted six days and the jury deliberated for five hours before the verdict was rendered.
The defendant cardiologist was found to be 40% responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries, and therefore will be liable for $1.2 million of the jury’s award of damages (the plaintiff’s primary care physician, who was not a defendant at the time of trial, was found by the jury to be 60% responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries – it was not reported if the plaintiff’s primary care physician had settled claims against him before the trial).
The Underlying Alleged Facts
The plaintiff was 66-years-old and suffering from aortic stenosis when his primary care physician referred him for an echocardiogram in January 2008. The physician who interpreted the results of the echocardiogram reported that the man’s aortic stenosis appeared to look more severe in the images than the measurements suggested. Therefore, the primary care physician referred the man to the defendant cardiologist, who ordered a cardiac stress test. The results of the stress test indicted a reduction in heart function although it did not show any cardiac defects.
According to the plaintiff’s medical malpractice lawsuit, the defendant cardiologist did not review the echocardiogram images himself or order a new echocardiogram, but rather referred the plaintiff back to his primary care physician, recommending medication but not recommending treatment for aortic stenosis.
The plaintiff’s medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that in early 2009, the plaintiff began having breathing problems and edema in his leg for which his primary care physician prescribed larger dosages of diuretics. In late April 2009, the primary care physician ordered a new echocardiogram that showed worsening aortic stenosis. The plaintiff’s medical condition worsened, he was hospitalized during which a balloon was inserted to widen the aortic value, but the plaintiff was deemed to not be a candidate for aortic valve replacement at that time and he died in May 2009.
The Medical Malpractice Allegations
The plaintiff’s Connecticut medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that both the plaintiff’s primary care physician and the cardiologist should have reviewed the images from the January 2008 echocardiogram themselves and ordered a new echocardiogram at that time, which, had they done so, would have resulted in the plaintiff being properly diagnosed and treated at that time, and their failure to do so resulted in the plaintiff’s untimely death.
One of the tactical decisions by the defense during the medical malpractice trial was to call the plaintiff’s primary care physician to testify during the trial that he accepted responsibility for the plaintiff’s injuries, although the defendant cardiologist continued to deny his liability to the plaintiff.
If you or a loved one suffered serious injury (or worse) as a result of medical malpractice in Connecticut or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a Connecticut medical malpractice lawyer or a medical malpractice lawyer in your state who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.