Schochor, Staton, Goldberg, and Cardea, P.A. Senior Partner Kerry Staton achieved a settlement of $9,000,000 from a hospital and emergency room group for a woman who was irreversibly injured due to a failure to diagnose her condition.
Here is the sequence of tragic events:
On May 10, 2014, at approximately 9:16 p.m., the Plaintiff, then 18 years old, presented to the Defendant Hospital’s emergency department via ambulance at approximately 30 weeks’ gestation.
Upon arrival, she complained of severe headache which was unrelieved by Tylenol with Codeine over the past several days. She described the headache as frontal, aching, throbbing, and worsened by light. At approximately 11:42 p.m., she was evaluated by the Defendant emergency room physician. The Defendant took a history, performed a physical exam which was negative for any focal neurologic deficits, and ordered lab work. Although she included intracranial hemorrhage on her differential diagnosis, she did not order any head imaging or call for a neurology consult. The Defendant emergency room physician made a diagnosis of pregnancy related headache and referred the Plaintiff to labor and delivery for assessment of her fetus.
At 1:30 a.m., the Plaintiff was examined by an OB/GYN employed by the Defendant Hospital. He took a history, performed a physical exam which was again negative for focal deficits and ordered Reglan and Claritan after consulting with the Plaintiff’s private OB attending. He also included an intracranial process on his differential, but did not order head imaging or a neurologic consult based upon the findings of his examination. He planned to re-evaluate the Plaintiff but when he returned to do so at approximately 2:40 a.m. on May 11, the Plaintiff was found to have left labor and delivery. She was discovered in the parking lot shortly thereafter and convinced to return to her bed by 3:00 a.m. Upon return, she indicated that she was depressed and had suicidal thoughts. Therefore, after further consultation with her private OB, she was scheduled for a psychiatric consult in the morning.
On May 11, 2014, at approximately 8:45 a.m., the Plaintiff was returned to the Defendant Hospital’s emergency department for medical re-evaluation, at times complaining of significant headache. At that time she was seen by the second Defendant emergency room physician. That physician performed an evaluation for purposes of medically clearing the patient for psychiatric evaluation. She did not address the Plaintiff’s complaints of headache. She claimed that the Plaintiff did not complain of headache when she examined her.
The Plaintiff allegedly told the psychiatric personnel that she came to Defendant Hospital to be diagnosed and treated for her headache and not any depression. At 8:05 p.m., a psychiatrist determined that Plaintiff was not a threat to herself or others and discharged Plaintiff to home.
On May 12, 2014, at approximately 12:13 a.m., the Plaintiff returned to the Defendant Hospital via ambulance having suffered a possible seizure at home. She was admitted to the hospital where head imaging revealed an extensive venous thrombosis (blood clot in the vessels of the brain) which resulted in infarction of her brain and permanent brain damage. It was alleged that the Plaintiff remained in a persistent vegetative/minimally conscious state and required around the clock care.
The Plaintiff alleged that the Defendants’ personnel negligently failed to obtain head imaging and a neurology consult, resulting in the negligent failure to timely diagnose and treat cerebral venous thrombosis, massive infarction and stroke, and neurologic injury. The Defendants denied that their care was negligent and denied that their acts or omissions caused the Plaintiff’s injuries.
Here is the result of the case:
Led by attorney Kerry Staton, our law firm achieved an out-of-court settlement of $9 million to help pay for the lifelong care required by the victim.
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