Plaintiff v. Emergency Room Doctor

  • 06/22/2016
    Counsel: Amanda L. Balen
    Client: Defendant Emergency Room Doctor
    Outcome: Verdict for the defense

Synopsis:

Donohue Brown’s Rick Foster and Amanda Balen successfully defended an emergency room doctor accused of failure to diagnose chest pain and failure to diagnose diabetes.

The plaintiff, a 43-year-old emergency medical technician, had been admitted to the ER with chest pain of less than an hour but with pain rated nine out of 10.

The defendant ER doctor ran a blood test which showed glucose levels at 491. The doctor ruled out a cardiac issue and reduced blood sugar with a glucose treatment before sending the plaintiff home.

Three days later, the plaintiff died of what was at the time ruled as diabetic ketoacidosis. 

At trial, Donohue Brown proved that the plaintiff died of pneumonia, which he did not have when he was admitted to the ER.  The firm also proved the patient suffered from three-vessel heart disease, which had been undiagnosed before his death. 

While the plaintiff asked for $500,000 in damages, the jury returned a not-guilty verdict.