New York woman awarded $1.25 million in medical malpractice suit


In my post last week, I wrote that failure to diagnose serious medical conditions is a widespread problem among primary care physicians. For patients in Albany and across the state, the primary care physician is often the first resource I seek when I have a medical issue.

If any doctor fails to correctly diagnose a serious medical issue, it could put my health or even my lives in jeopardy. For some conditions, even a delayed diagnosis of just a few hours can cause significant and long-lasting damage.

A good example of this comes from a recent medical malpractice lawsuit in Utica. The plaintiff is a 22-year-old girl who suffered an ischemic stroke when she was just 16. She was rushed to St. Elizabeth Medical Center, but it took seven hours for the staff to finally consult with a neurologist and correctly diagnose her condition.

By this time, it was too late to take advantage of a certain clot-busting medication, because it was only effective if administered within the first three hours after a stroke. As a result of her delayed diagnosis and treatment, the young woman still suffers significant problems with speech and movement, and has had to endure years of physical therapy.

Thankfully, the jury hearing the case ruled in favor of the determined young woman, and awarded her $1.25 million to cover past medical expenses as well as compensate her for pain and suffering in the past and future.

This case shows that during an emergency, a delay of even a few hours can be devastating to a patient’s health. That’s why it is critical for physicians to follow diagnostic protocols and find answers as quickly as possible.

Source:, “$1.25 million awarded in St. Elizabeth malpractice case,” Rocco LaDuca, Mar. 4, 2013

Posted in Doctor Errors | Tagged , , , |