Jury finds for doctor in “failure to diagnose” case

An Illinois doctor has been found not guilty of medical malpractice by a jury who deliberated for two hours in the case of a patient who died of a heart attack nearly a week after seeing her physician.

The estate of Barbara Jean Pratt filed a wrongful death lawsuit claiming that Dr. Malench failed to diagnose a heart condition. In the lawsuit, the administrator for Pratt’s estate claimed that Pratt saw Malench with complaints about pain in her chest, left arm and left side of her neck.

Pratt died of a heart attack six days after she saw Malench, who was her primary physician.

A reviewing physician stated that Malench failed to manage Pratt’s symptoms and that he knew she had risk for coronary disease and that Malench incorrectly diagnosed her presenting symptoms as cervical radiculitis, a spinal disorder caused by a spinal disc pressing against nerves to the spinal cord.

Malench claimed that the patient only complained of pain in her chest when she breathed in deeply and that the she had not mentioned the other symptoms.

The jury, however, sided with Dr. Malench. In determining whether a physician is guilty of medical malpractice, a jury need to find the physician negligent and his conduct fell below the “standard of care”. In Washington state, the test for “standard of care” is, “Did the health care provider fail to exercise the degree of care, skill and learning expected of a reasonably prudent health care provider with similar credentials and circumstances would have provided?”

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured by medical malpractice and the family of those who have died with their wrongful death claims.

Source:
Jury sides with doctor in med mal suit
October 21, 2011 7:01 PM By SANFORD J. SCHMIDT The Telegraph.com
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