Partner David Hall successfully defended a suburban hospital convenient care and its employed physician against claims that the physician failed to properly work up a 38-year-old patient for a pulmonary embolism. The patient, who was married with two young daughters, died five days following the convenient care visit.
Plaintiff argued that the patient’s fractured leg and use of a wheelchair increased his risk of developing a deep vein thrombus. Plaintiff also contended that the patient had a three day history of shortness of breath warranting a referral to the hospital for a CT scan to rule out a pulmonary embolism.
Defense demonstrated that the patient’s presenting complaint of sinus pressure with an associated cough, his history of asthma and his recent history of shortness of breath, were consistent with a diagnosis of bronchitis and sinusitis. Defense further maintained that the autopsy established that the patient died from an acute saddle pulmonary embolism rather than a series of showering pulmonary emboli as alleged by Plaintiff.
Plaintiff’s attorney asked the jury for a combined verdict in excess of 17 million in damages. The jury deliberated about an hour before rendering a defense verdict.