Pulmonary embolisms occur when the veins or blood vessels of the body become clogged or otherwise blocked. Symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, sweating, and coughing. Their consequences can be severe including heart attacks. Here are some cases where they were the unfortunate outcome of malpractice
2015; New York; $770,000 Jury Award:
This controversy started when a large woman fell down and seriously injured her leg. She went to the doctor and he diagnosed it as a broken bone, gave her crutches, and sent her on her way. The woman was still having pain though so she went back not long after the first visit. She was given a brace and sent back home. Not long after this she developed a pulmonary embolism, had a heart attack, and died. Representatives of her estate sued the doctor for medical malpractice. The lawsuit alleged that he should have prescribed her anti-coagulation medication to thin her blood and that this failure led to the heart attack that killed her. The doctor replied that he weighed that option and decided against it because the woman was overweight and that anti-coagulation medicine posed other problems. The jury found for the plaintiff and awarded the decedent’s estate $770,000 for the following damages:
- Pain and suffering:
- Medical Costs:
- Wrongful Death:
- Loss of Support:
2014; Arizona; $1,060,000:
Here, an older gentleman suffered a pulmonary embolism and died while under the care of rehabilitation specialists. He had just undergone hip replacement surgery and apparently the embolism arose from complications due to the procedure. His estate sued the owners and operators of the facility. They alleged that the defendants did not put enough staff on his case, did not create a personalized plan for his care, and generally failed to meet the relevant standard of care. The defendants denied all responsibility and said that this outcome was beyond their control. The jury believed the plaintiffs and awarded them $1,050,000 for loss of services, pain and suffering, and compensatory damages.
2014; Iowa; $755,827 Jury Award:
A 52-year-old man was staying at a hospital when he developed a pulmonary embolism and died shortly thereafter. The decedent was survived by a wife and two children. His estate sued the facility as well as the treating doctors for malpractice, wrongful death, and lost chance of survival. The jury entered a verdict in favor of the plaintiff for $755,827.
2014; New York; $835,000 Settlement:
A woman in her early forties was rushed to the hospital for persistent coughing and trouble breathing. Staff at the facility did an x-ray and determined that she had something in her lung. Doctors diagnosed her with pneumonia and sent her home. Just a few weeks later she was sent back to the emergency room for a hysterectomy but died in the middle of the procedure from a pulmonary embolism. The woman’s representatives sued for malpractice. They argued that the physicians should have seen that she was at least significantly at risk for a pulmonary embolism in her first visit. On the other hand, the defendants stated that her symptoms did not warrant such a finding. Eventually, the plaintiffs settled with the doctors and hospital for $835,000.