Medical Malpractice: $500,000 jury verdict for misdiagnosis of heart attack / myocardial infarction (ER physician and hospital negligence)
Our diabetic client was 34 years old when she developed chest pain and nausea. She went to the emergency room where an EKG was done, but it was normal. The ER doctor didn’t order cardiac enzyme tests or other diagnostic tests and wrongly concluded our client had a simple case of the flu; however, because our client had a long history of insulin-dependent diabetes, she had a very high risk of heart disease. The ER doctor wasn’t aware of this risk factor and sent our client home without any treatment. Approximately 1 week later, our client went to an urgent care center with weakness and feeling ill, and was properly diagnosed by another physician with a heart attack (myocardial infarction) and heart failure.
Prior to trial we offered a reasonable settlement, but the defendant hospital refused to pay more than $3,000 and the ER doctor refused to pay a dime. The defendants alleged our client’s heart attack was extremely unusual for her age and gender, that the heart attack and heart failure happened after the ER visit, and that the patient was correctly diagnosed with the flu. Further, the defendants claimed contributory negligence for the patient’s failure to maintain her health prior to the heart attack. After an 8-week trial, the jury agreed with our theory of the case and rendered a verdict for $500,000.