A Maryland jury awarded the wife and two children of a 59-year-old man $2.5 million in damages following his untimely death from medical malpractice at Montgomery General Hospital in 2007. The lawsuit alleged that the doctor attending to the man at Montgomery General failed was negligent in failing to recognize and diagnose that he was suffering from “hemorrhagic shock” and treat the same. A copy of the article regarding the settlement can be found here.
The man’s death occurred two days after he fell and fractured his pelvis. The family alleged that the primary care physician, who was the sole defendant in the medical malpractice case, did not realize that the man was suffering from internal bleeding. The family believes that had the doctor treated this condition when he first examined him, he could have saved the man’s life. Instead, the man ultimately died from multiple organ failure due to the internal bleeding.
While the primary care physician argued that the man died as a result of a side effect to medication that restricted his intake of oxygen, this theory was discredited because no mention was made of any such complication on the death certificate.
Further, the family’s attorney was able to present numerous signs that the doctor should have alerted the doctor to the problem. For example, the man had both low blood pressure and a rapid heartbeat. Another example is that, within a 24-hour period, the man had not produced urine. Each of these circumstances, in addition to others, were clues that the patient was experiencing blood loss.
The $2.5 million in damages consisted of $1 million each to the man’s estate and his wife, and $250,000 was awarded to each of Dixon’s children.