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Man claims failure to diagnose abscess led to paralysis

On behalf of posted in Medical Malpractice on Wednesday August 26, 2015

Doctors in Massachusetts and across the country must undergo rigorous training in order to be able to diagnose the many different ailments from which a patient may suffer. Patients typically put their trust in their medical care providers, expecting adequate diagnoses and treatment their disorders — especially those issues that could cause extensive damage if left untreated. Unfortunately, one out-of-state man claims that medical care provider’s’ failure to diagnose a cervical abscess led to his paralysis. A jury as recently agreed with his medical malpractice claims.

According to court papers, the man reported to the emergency room at the a hospital in June 2011, when he was 53 years old. At the time, he claims that he was suffering from a tingling feeling in his arm as well as pain in his neck. He was kept overnight and placed under the care of a cardiologist. The next morning, an infectious-disease specialist examined him. Suspecting that he was suffering from a cervical epidural abscess, she ordered that an MRI be conducted.

While the lawsuit apparently claims that the MRI results supported the infectious-disease specialist’s suspicions, the man argues that a radiologist and neurologist failed to accurately read the results. When he continued to deteriorate, he was transferred to a different hospital. Care providers there immediately recognized that he had an abscess and conducted surgery. Unfortunately, because of the delay he suffered permanent paralysis from his chest down. After a two-week trial and four hours of deliberation, a jury agreed with the man’s claims, issuing an award to him and his wife of almost $12 million.

Unfortunately, because of his medical care team’s failure to diagnose and treat his medical issues, the man’s life — as well the life of his wife — will likely never be the same. The award will likely help cover the ongoing costs of the man’s care as well as help cope with any loss of wages and other financial losses the couple may experience. Because he and his wife were willing to take legal action, they may have prevented similar harm from befalling future patients. For those in Massachusetts suffering as a result of medical malpractice, a meeting with an attorney could be the first step toward holding medical workers accountable for their negligence.

Source:, “Jury awards paralyzed man millions in malpractice suit against Delaware County Memorial Hospital“, Alex Rose, Aug. 16, 2015

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