On August 19, 2014, after a seven day trial, an Alabama medical malpractice jury returned its verdict in favor of the plaintiff in the amount of $4 million. The medical malpractice defendant was the emergency room physician who had treated the 40-year-old man in the hospital’s emergency room, where the man sought treatment for signs and symptoms consistent with cardiac issues, including chest pain. The man died two days later after suffering a heart attack at home from which he was unable to be revived.
The plaintiff alleged that the man went to the hospital emergency room on January 13, 2008 after he had felt ill for two days after eating breakfast on January 11, 2008. He was released from the emergency room after four or five hours after being examined by the defendant emergency room physician, despite having continuing complaints suggestive of heart problems. He continued to feel ill for the next two days. While at home on January 15, 2008, the man suddenly clutched his chest, fell backwards, and told his wife to dial 911. He was rushed by ambulance to the hospital but the emergency room staff was unable to resuscitate him from the heart attack that he had suffered.
The man is survived by his wife of 22 years and their two children. The wife filed the Alabama medical malpractice lawsuit, alleging that the defendant emergency room physician breached the standard of care in treating her husband by failing to consider the man’s signs and symptoms as cardiac in nature and to rule out heart problems before discharging her husband from the hospital emergency room. The plaintiff’s medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that the defendant emergency room physician should have ordered blood tests that would have led to the correct diagnosis in time to treat the man’s cardiac condition, which would have led to appropriate and timely treatment that would have saved his life.
The defense experts testified at trial that the man had a stomach virus at the time of the initial emergency room visit and that the defendant emergency room physician’s care of the man was proper. The defense has not decided as of yet how they may proceed following the medical malpractice verdict.
If you had chest pain for two days and were concerned enough to go to a hospital emergency room to find out if your condition was serious and if you needed advanced treatment that you were unable to receive at home, would you want to be seen and treated by the defendant’s experts in this case? (On the other hand, many people would question why the man waited for two days before going to the emergency room.)
If you or a loved one suffered serious injuries or death as a result of medical negligence in Alabama or in another state in the U.S., you should promptly seek to consult with an Alabama medical malpractice attorney or a medical malpractice attorney in your state who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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