Jury awards family $1.25 million in medical misdiagnosis case

The family of Hector Alvarez, who died at the age of 52 in Fairfax, Virginia, was awarded $1.25 million in a medical malpractice case against an Alexandria radiologist for misdiagnosing a hiatal hernia.

According to a report in The Washington Post, Alvarez went to the hospital in July 2006 with chest pains and trouble swallowing. A radiologist, William J. Dunwoody III, checked Alvarez’s CT scan and diagnosed a hiatial hernia. Hiatial hernias are typically diagnosed using an upper GI or endoscopy.

Alvarez was treated for the hernia until the next day when a surgeon discovered that Alvarez actually had a perforated esophagus. Alvarez suffered cardiac arrest and during preparation for surgery to repair the tear. He subsequently died.

Alvarez’s family’s wrongful death suit claimed that if Alvarez had not been misdiagnosed he could have received prompt treatment and not become so weakened that he would not have died.

During the pretrial process, the Fairfax Anesthesiology group agreed to a $600,000 settlement. The radiology group, Pro Assurance, elected to go to trial. The Fairfax jury awarded $3 million to Avlarez’s family in a judgment against ProAssurance but malpractice caps reduced the judgment to $1.25 million.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent families in their wrongful death claims when a loved one has died due to the negligence of another, including medical malpractice. With more than 30 years experience in representing wrongful death claims, we have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for families.
Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. We have offices in Seattle and Bellevue  to assist you.