Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death Leads to $1.25 Verdict
The jury returned a verdict of $1.25 million to the estate of a woman who suffered a fatal brain hemorrhage almost a decade ago. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the woman’s estate by the executor, her husband.
In March of 2010, Catherine Corsale sought the help of Dr. James DeMatteis regarding persistent headaches. DeMatteis diagnosed the woman with excessive caffeine intake and failed to order any further testing. In March, Daniel Corsale found his wife unresponsive on the floor having suffered a massive brain hemorrhage. She would never regain consciousness again and later died from her injuries.
Daniel Corsale filed a lawsuit against the doctor alleging medical negligence and misdiagnosis. The plaintiff claimed that the hemorrhage arteriovenous malformation and should have been diagnosed much earlier.
Misdiagnosis and Medical Malpractice
In order to gain a medical malpractice verdict on the basis of a misdiagnosis, a plaintiff must be able to show that the doctor either never considered the proper diagnosis or considered it and rejected it. In other cases, the misinterpretation of lab results can lead to a successful misdiagnosis verdict.
In this case, the doctor never even bothered to order imaging. Had he, they would have likely caught the arteriovenous malformation.
Proving a misdiagnosis verdict can be a challenging task. The plaintiff cannot simply assert that a diagnosis was missed. They must prove that the doctor missed the diagnosis by failing to follow established medical procedures. Additionally, the plaintiff must be able to show that the patient’s outcome would have probably been better had the correct diagnosis been made. In this instance, neither proved to be difficult. The doctor’s failure to order lab tests that would have caught a serious problem was the difference in this case.
The majority of doctors may assume that some lifestyle choice (in this case, excessive caffeine intake) was responsible for a patient’s persistent headaches, but they should also rule out more serious possibilities until they reach that diagnosis.
A patient must be able to show that a similarly situated doctor in the same position would have proceeded differently (i.e. in accordance with the accepted standard of care). This requires medical experts to be brought on board in order to substantiate the plaintiff’s claims.
In the majority of misdiagnosis cases, one of the most difficult parts for the plaintiff is establishing that the failure to diagnose directly caused the patient’s condition to worsen. This case is unique insofar as that failure was directly related to the doctor’s decision not to order more tests.
Talk to a St. Petersburg Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
If a misdiagnosis resulted in a worsening of your condition, the St. Petersburg medical malpractice attorney at Masterson & Hoag, P.A. can help recover damages for you. We can help you get compensation for your past and future medical expenses, your pain and suffering, and your lost wages or lack of employability. Talk to us today for a free consultation.