Jury Awards Man $6.6 Million Involving a Physician’s Failure to Notify the Patient of Blood Infection Resulting in Paralysis from his Chest Down
A Pennsylvania man developed severe back pain and went to a local emergency room (ER) where he also advised the nursing staff that he was suffering from heroin addiction and that he had experienced fever and nausea. Testing, including an EKG, x-rays and blood work was performed and he was discharged with a diagnosis of exacerbated back pain and narcotic withdrawal.
When the final results of the blood work were finalized it showed that the patient was suffering from a very dangerous systemic blood infection. The hospital claimed that it was not able to reach the patient by phone to advise him of the results. Instead, the hospital sent a certified letter to the address that the patient reported at the time of ER visit. Unfortunately, before the patient received the letter, he suffered paralysis from his chest down because of the systemic blood infection.
The patient sued the hospital claiming that it failed to follow its own policies and procedures and the required medical standard of care to protect patients with abnormal test results. FN1. He asserted that policies required the hospital to contact him immediately and to make assurances the information was received. The jury found in favor of the patient and entered a verdict for $6.6 million. The jury apportioned fault at 64 per cent on the hospital and assigned 36 per cent of fault on the plaintiff for his contributory negligence.
Kansas laws also require medical providers to practice within the applicable standard of care. Standards of care are in place to protect the health, well-being and safety of patients. A deviation from those standards is negligence.
For more than 50 years combined, Larry and Tina have been successfully handling clinic, hospital and emergency department negligence, medical malpractice and nursing home abuse cases for individuals and families who have been injured or killed by the negligence of a medical provider. If you have been impacted by medical negligence, contact us online or call (800)475-4140 for a free evaluation of your case.
FN1 – Walker v. Weber, No. 03778 (Pa. Ct. Com. Pleas, Phila. County, March 11, 2015), handled by Eric H. Weitz and Justin L. Groen.