$3 Million Settlement for Multiple Instances of Negligence and Diagnosis Failure
I. v. Bane, et al
We represented the surviving spouse and estate (including six adult children) of a 59-year-old woman with a history of hypertension who received emergency room treatment for severe chest pain. Results of initial tests, including an electrocardiogram and chest x-ray, should have led any physician to include aortic dissection as part of the diagnosis, but the initial treating physician did not do so. A CT scan of the chest would have made the ultimate diagnosis, but one was never ordered. A second physician also failed to make the connection between the woman’s history of hypertension and tobacco use, her severe chest pain, and the abnormal test results pointing to aortic dissection. When a CT scan was finally ordered, a third physician failed to diagnose bleeding from an intramural hematoma. After three days and the performance of a surgical procedure, a CT scan of the woman’s chest finally revealed the aortic dissection. She was taken back for emergency surgery but passed away while on the operating table. Our demonstration that standards of care were clearly violated led to a settlement involving all three physicians and their medical groups.