Recently we obtained a very favorable settlement for a Illinois Wrongful death case arising from medical negligence. The case involved the death of an elderly woman from respiratory disease within 24 hours of visiting her doctor and complaining of respiratory symptoms. The medical negligence allegation was misdiagnosis of a specific respiratory disease and failure to properly treat the patient pursuant to the symptoms she presented with.
The amount of the medical malpractice settlement and the parties involved is confidential pursuant to the settlement agreement and to protect the privacy of the victim's family. The case settled a few months before the trial was to begin in October 2012. This case was filed in 2009 and was hard fought for several years to result in an excellent settlement for our clients.
This case not only involved failure to diagnose, but the doctor attempted to cover up the medical negligence by using white out on the original office visit note as well as changing entries int eh medical record as well. We were able to discover this as the defendants must have forgotten that they produced the original unaltered medical records to our client a few weeks after her mothers death and many months before retaining our law firm. We believe the medical record alteration occurred after we contacted the hospital and requested the medical records, at this point they suspected a lawsuit and attempted to hide the negligence in the medical records. Based on the alteration to the medical records, we filed a detailed motion for sanctions against the defense doctor and hospital, this aggressive motion was a significant issue in the settlement negations and made a large difference to the value of the case. See MOTION - Sanctions - Altered Medical Record and White Out.pdf
This settlement was the justice that our clients deserved, they lost their mother due to a doctor being careless and not paying attention to her patient's obvious respiratory symptoms. She either chose not to perform a simple respiratory exam or was not listening as the basic respiratory exam we have all had done during a physical or doctor visit. A properly performed respiratory exam would have detected her severe respiratory symptoms and prompted a competent doctor to provide additional medical treatment rather than simply send the patient home with instructions to take Tylenol.
In this case the doctor made a choice to gloss through a routine respiratory exam, this routine exam is performed to ensure the safety of patients, particularly ones presenting with respiratory symptoms and complaints. The doctor violated patient safety standards and needlessly endangered this patient when she chose not to do a proper respiratory exam.
Favorable results in medical malpractice cases serve as enforcement and reminders to healthcare providers that they must follow patient safety rules and properly care for their patients, as failure to do so needlessly endangers them and even leads to wrongful death. Enforcement of the patient safety rules through civil lawsuits helps ensure the safety of everyone in the community who puts their trust and life in the hands of their healthcare providers.
If you or a family member have suffered needless injury or death as a result of hospital or doctor neglect please contact the experienced Missouri medical malpractice lawyers at Sansone / Lauber by phone (314) 863-0500 or contact us online.