In Boston, MA, a jury has awarded a Framingham girl and her family $11.5 million in their medical malpractice lawsuit against a radiologist at Newton-Wellesley Hospital. The radiologist was found negligent of his care of the patient by not treating a heart defect when she went to the hospital a decade ago. The trial took two weeks and deliberations more than two days before the jury handed their guilty verdict to the radiologist. Court documents show that the defendant’s argument was that there were no symptoms of viral myocarditis, one of the medical issues the patient experienced after a misdiagnosis, and that she was transferred to Massachusetts General Hospital when it became apparent that her condition worsened.
In 2009, the patient, Anna, was 18-months old and her father saying that she was vomiting and may have had dehydration. The radiologist ordered an X-ray and diagnosed Anna with bronchiolitis v. atypical pneumonia and neglected to note and treat her enlarged heart. The myocarditis, an inflammation of heart tissue, developed into cardiac arrest and resulting brain damage. One of the lawyers at the firm representing Anna and her family noted that despite Anna is now 11, her actions and temperament are underdeveloped and she acts/reacts as a 4-year old would; her injury caused severe and permanent neurological damage.
Had her enlarged heart been caught when her father brought her in and an echocardiogram been ordered, Anna and her family would not have gone through he trials and tribulations they have and she would be healthier because of it. It is objectively good that this case has been settled and a form of justice, albeit long overdue, was served to the family, but this is just another example on the list of negligence and malpractice resulting in irreversible damage to the patient and her loved ones.
Fortunately for the organization, Newton-Wellesly Hospital was not a defendant in this case; the spokesperson issued a statement noting that they are all happy a resolution has been reached and that they send their best wishes to the family. While the hospital posits that their staff is well trained and dedicated to the utmost quality care for incoming and existing patients, some will hesitate to go/return for care and may seek a transfer to a new hospital. Medical malpractice cases, unfortunately, are common enough; however, they are almost always isolated to the individual and not the organization as a whole.
No one should suffer through the repercussions of medical malpractice, especially as we’ve been trained to always trust our doctors; sadly, there will be more cases like Anna’s in the future. If you, or a loved one, believe you are the victim of negligence from the actions of your doctor, contact a Texas malpractice lawyer at Buckingham & Vega to discuss the details of your case and your options moving forward. We can’t change the past, but we can help right the wrongs now. Contact us today for more information.