Woman's estate awarded almost $2 million for misdiagnosis death

In July 2009, a 25-year-old woman, who was six months pregnant, sought emergency care at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for respiratory problems. According to court documents in a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital and two doctors who treated the woman, she was sent home with antibiotics and instructions to return if she didn't get any better.

The woman returned to the hospital two days later, where it was determined she had pneumonia, acute respiratory failure and sepsis. She had an emergency cesarean-section and gave birth to a two pound, eight ounce little girl. The woman died just days later from the infection.

The lawsuit alleged the hospital failed to diagnose the pneumonia and the doctors did not order a chest X-ray, which would have detected the pneumonia. The defendants said the treatment the woman received was correct because not all the signs of pneumonia were present.

The attorneys for the defense said the woman "would have died anyway" even if she had been admitted to the hospital when she was first seen in the emergency room because her condition was so severe.

A jury awarded the estate of the woman $1,954,000 in the case. The woman's daughters are now ages seven and four. The plaintiff's attorney said he felt the award was "some measure of justice" because it will be some compensation for the daughters who will have to grow up without a mother.

Just before the trial started, the judge allowed the hospital and one of the doctors to be dismissed with prejudice from the case. Only one doctor was held liable.

If you or a loved one has suffered due to medical malpractice or a doctor's medical negligence, or failure to diagnose, contact an experienced Kentucky personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will ensure your rights are protected and work diligently to get you the compensation you deserve in a civil action for such claims as pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, disability, loss of consort and other damages.

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