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Family Receives $2.2 Million in Medical Malpractice Case

A wife and son received $2.2 million after a 52-year-old man died following a minimally invasive mitral valve replacement procedure. The man, who was otherwise in excellent health, came through the surgery as expected, but died three days later.

Two days after surgery, a nurse practitioner removed a chest tube which had been placed in the man’s right lung during surgery to drain it of any fluid that might collect. A routine chest x-ray, performed to confirm that there was no pneumothorax (collapsed lung) following the removal of the chest tube, was negative. Approximately one hour later, the physical therapist found the patient sitting on the bedside, nauseous and hot, with a blood pressure of 72/55 (low) and a heart rate of 88 (high). At this time, another chest x-ray was ordered, but then cancelled for an unknown reason, and was never completed. Approximately 4 hours later, the man’s heart stopped beating. A “code” was called, he was revived and transferred to the ICU where he passed away the next day.

The family brought the case to Maggs McDermott & DiCicco who filed a wrongful death lawsuit. The attorneys called on experts who agreed that if a chest x-ray and blood work had been done at the time of the patient’s initial shock symptoms the man would have been treated for a pneumothorax approximately four hours sooner, and the massive blood loss and organ failure that led to his death would not have occurred.

The attorneys at Maggs McDermott & DiCicco retained experts to determine the family’s loss of financial support and loss of parental guidance that the decedent would have provided for his wife and teenage son. The firm also argued that the man had conscious pain and suffering for approximately 24 hours before he died. For these reasons, the family received $2.2 million in their wrongful death suit.

For more information on Maggs McDermott & DiCicco’s wrongful death practice, click here.

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