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Medical malpractice case ends in a success for man’s family

June 13th, 2012 by Rieders Travis in Medical Malpractice

A Pennsylvania medical malpractice case has ended with a $6.4 million verdict for the plaintiff. The suit was filed two years ago by a man’s family after he died from a massive heart attack only months after being released by a city hospital. The medical malpractice verdict came after a trial that lasted a week. The incident that spurred the malpractice suit came in 2009 after the man, who had a medical history of atrial fibrillation, experienced chest and shoulder pains after playing basketball earlier in the day.

He was transported to the hospital and was assessed by two physicians. The man was diagnosed with pneumonia and syncope and released from the hospital later the same evening. Three months later, emergency responders were called to assist a man, who was having a seizure. Responders found him vomiting, spitting and coughing after a game of basketball. He went into shock and was transported back to Temple University Hospital where he went on mechanical ventilation.

The next evening, the man was diagnosed with an anoxic brain injury and an acute heart attack, which resulted in cardiac arrest. He was treated for pneumonia, an abdominal wound that had become infected and heart-related problems. On Oct. 7, 2009, he was transferred to a long-term care facility where he remained dependent on the ventilator and had to endure several medical procedures.

The Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawsuit maintained that his ultimate demise was caused by the negligence of the defendants, who failed to order appropriate tests for the man. These tests could have properly diagnosed his condition. Courts found one of the doctors to be 88 percent negligent, another to be 10 percent negligent and the hospital to be two percent negligent. The man’s family was awarded $5,657,039.82 in damages. In addition, his family received $750,000 for pain and suffering. Although the family gained monetary compensation for the negligence attributed to the man’s death, the award cannot bring him back. Hopefully this will at least ease some of the grief his family is undoubtedly continuing to endure.

Source: The Pennsylvania Record, “Phila. jury renders $6.4 million plaintiffs verdict in medical malpractice, wrongful death case,” Jon Campisi, June 7, 2012

Attorney Cliff Rieders

Attorney Cliff RiedersCliff Rieders is a Nationally Board Certified Trial Lawyer practicing personal injury law. A large part of his practice involves multi-district litigation, including cases related to pharmaceuticals, vitamin supplements and medical devices. He is admitted in several state and federal courts, as well as the Supreme Court of the United States. Rieders is the past regional president of the Federal Bar Association and is a life member of the distinguished American Law Institute, which promulgates proposed rules adopted by many state courts. He is a past president of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association. As a founder of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, he served on the Board for 15 years.

Not only has Rieders held many highly esteemed, leadership positions, he authored legislation related to the Patient Safety Authority and the Mcare Act, which governs medical and hospital liability actions in Pennsylvania. He authored texts upon which both practitioners and judges rely, including Pennsylvania Malpractice Laws and Forms, and Financial Responsibility Law Issues in Pennsylvania, the latter governing auto and truck collisions in Pennsylvania. In addition, he wrote several books on the practice of law in Pennsylvania regarding wrongful death and survivor actions, insurance bad faith, legal malpractice claims and worker rights, among others. Rieders also serves as a resource to practitioners as a regular speaker for Celesq, an arm of the world’s largest legal publisher, Thomson Reuters West Publishing.

As recognition of his wide range of contribution to his profession and of his dedication to protecting the rights of his clients, he received numerous awards, among them the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, the Milton D. Rosenberg Award, the B’nai B’rith Justice Award, and awards of recognition from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers. [ Attorney Bio ]