Injuries and death caused by emergency room negligence are all too common. Failure to diagnose is one such error that can result in medical malpractice in an emergency room. If a wrongful death is caused by medical malpractice, then the doctor or hospital staff that is responsible for the death can be held accountable for their negligence.
A jury recently sent a message to the medical community in this regard by awarding the family of a wrongful death victim a $4 million award for their loss.
In 2009, a 43-year-old woman was transported by ambulance from an urgent care clinic to a hospital. Although she was discharged with a diagnosis of chest pain, she died eleven days later after being found unresponsive in her home. She died as a result of cardiac arrest.
According to the jury verdict, this woman would still be alive today if the emergency room doctor had properly diagnosed her and not simply sent her home. With this verdict, the jury obviously believed that the doctor should have more thoroughly examined this woman. If he had, he could have determined that she was at risk of a having the resulting heart attack, which led to her death. As a result, the emergency room doctor was held liable for this woman’s wrongful death.
Pennsylvania residents who have suffered the loss of a loved one from medical malpractice should consider seeking help to determine whether a wrongful death claim may be appropriate. Although a dollar value cannot be placed on a human life, a wrongful death claim can compensate a victim’s survivors for the loss of a loved one.
Source: The Charleston Gazette, “Jury awards $4M in medical malpractice case,” Sept. 29, 2011