Plaintiff v. Defendant Family Medicine and Geriatric Physician

Synopsis:

DBMS successfully defended a family medicine and geriatric physician in a case involving claims of wrongful death and medical malpractice following the death of a nursing home resident.

In 2014, the decedent, an 84-year-old woman who was in end stage kidney failure, was admitted to a nursing home. At some point during the admission, she developed symptoms of a small bowel obstruction. When the nursing home contacted the defendant about the symptoms, he discharged the patient by phone to the hospital. After a number of weeks in the hospital, the patient was released to hospice where she died. It was determined that the cause of death was kidney failure.

The plaintiff argued that the defendant physician failed to timely diagnose the patient’s small bowel obstruction. The plaintiff also argued that the defendant failed to transfer the patient to the hospital in a timely manner.

The defense argued that the physician acted within the standard of care, and that the actual cause of death was end stage renal disease. The defense further argued that the small bowel obstruction did not cause or contribute to cause the woman’s death.

The plaintiff asked for $6 million. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the defense after deliberating one hour and 40 minutes.