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Failure to diagnose main focus of medical malpractice case

When New York doctors treat patients that come to them suffering unexplained pain, they have their work cut out in trying to determine a cause. Sometimes, it's immediately apparent, and a doctor merely needs to check a few things to confirm his or her suspicions and make a confident diagnosis. If a doctor fails to properly diagnose a condition that other doctors claim should have been an easy diagnosis, and a patient suffers because of it, a medical malpractice incident may occur.

That's what the family of a woman who died says happened in her situation. She had gone to the doctor for help when suffering severe pain throughout her left arm. Her doctor ordered a cardiac evaluation and also a catheterization test. For some unknown reason, however, he canceled the latter test and never rescheduled it.

The woman later died from a serious heart condition that other medical professionals attested would have been easy to diagnose had the doctor gone through with the needed catheterization test. The woman's husband filed a lawsuit claiming his wife may still be alive if the doctor had done what he was supposed to do. The claim stated that a failure to diagnose the woman's myocardial infarction caused a tragedy.

The case was recently settled, with the family of the woman receiving more than $3 million, some of which was placed into trust funds for her two children. In all medical malpractice claims, there are two possible scenarios: A judge will hand down a decision if the claim goes to trial, or a settlement will be offered and accepted. Sometimes, a settlement is offered but is not accepted, and a case still goes to trial. In fact, part of the counsel an experienced New York personal injury attorney can provide is advising clients whether a settlement offer is in their best interests.

Source: thetimes-tribune.com, "Scranton family receives $3.5 million in medical malpractice settlement", David Singleton, Aug. 5, 2017

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