Kenneth Rothweiler and Daniel Jeck have settled a case for a 45 year old man who died of a heart attack after being prematurely discharged from a local emergency room.
The 45 year old man entered the emergency room complaining of chest pain, arm numbness, nausea, vomiting and a two-day history of “something stuck in my chest.” After an unremarkable physical examination an EKG was ordered. The EKG came back normal and after a plethora of other tests, consultations with specialists, and a day of observation in the hospital it was decided that the patient would have to undergo a stress test with a cardiologist at a different hospital.
Ten hours after his discharge the patient woke in the middle of the night with severe chest pain, bilateral arm pain, nausea and vomiting and his wife took him to the hospital where his scheduled stress test was to be performed. The patient entered the emergency room and is documented to have been suffering from level 9 out of 10 chest pains. Once again initial physical exams and work ups came back unremarkable and another EKG was ordered. The EKG came back and when compared with previous EKGs was abnormal. A GI cocktail was ordered for the patient and his chest pain improved but he still experienced pins and needles in his left hand. A couple hours later another EKG was performed and also came back abnormal. Despite two abnormal EKGs, complaints consisted with heart problems, and two days and two hospital visits documenting the discomfort, the patient was discharged from the hospital.
The patient and his family returned home and that afternoon his wife left her husband to go to the store. When she returned she found her husband unresponsive on the bathroom floor. Paramedics were called and just several hours after his discharge the patient was pronounced dead of a heart attack.
Mr. Rothweiler and Mr. Jeck prepared a case that proved that the second emergency room doctor and hospital was responsible for the death of their client. The doctor breached the standard of care and was negligent in discharging a patient with significant signs and symptoms of an impending heart attack. Shortly before trial the matter settled for $1.4 million.