A Wisconsin jury awarded the family of Gustavo Espinal-Santos, who died of blastomycosis, a $3.7 million medical malpractice award against Bellin Family Medical Center, for failing to diagnose and treat his illness reports the Greenbay Press Gazette.com.
Espinal-Santos went to the Bellin Family Medical Center in Bonduel twice in December of 2003 for treatment of his illness. Two physician assistants evaluated and treated Espinal-Santos for pneumonia. However the PAs did not order basic X-rays other diagnostic tests which would have revealed that Espinal-Santos had contracted blastomycosis, a fungal infection not uncommon to farm workers as it is transmitted by water and soil.
Espinal-Santos was later admitted to St. Vincent Hospital where he was diagnosed and treated for the fungal infection but it was too late for the treatment to save his life and he succumbed to the illness in January 1, 2004. Cure rates for the blastomycosis is usually quite high and mortality rates in treated cases are usually between 0-2% in otherwise healthy patients.
Espinal-Santos is survived by his wife, Maria Zavala McDaniel and two daughters.
A health care provider can be negligent if his or her conduct falls below the “standard of care” one usually should expect of a reasonably prudent health care provider in that class of which he or she belongs.
Washington State has a “wrongful death” statute which allows the family of deceased medical malpractice victim make a negligence claim on behalf of their loved one. Medical malpractice lawsuits can be brought against any health care provider including dentists, pathologists, neurologist, oncologist, cardiologist, toxicologist, pharmacologist, technician, nursing homre or staff, hospital or hospital worker, physician other health care providers.