Medical doctors go through years of intense training. The training is necessary because even the slightest mistake can quickly lead to dire consequences for a patient, including death. In a case where a medical mistake has led to such consequences, a patient, or his or her family member if the mistake resulted in a fatality, has the option of seeking legal recourse in a civil court. One man has taken such action against on a North Carolina doctor after he claims the doctor’s failure to diagnose his mother led to her death.
Court records indicate that the woman visited an emergency room several times, where she was treated by the defendant. The plaintiff claimed that the doctor failed to accurately diagnose his mother’s condition, which included sepsis and a form of pneumonia. Additionally, he claims that the defendant prescribed his mother an antibiotic that was a poor choice for her due to her medical history of allergies, which was noted in her medical history.
The woman’s condition reportedly worsened until she eventually passed away in June 2012. Because the plaintiff and defendant are residents of differing states, and the plaintiff is asking for more than $75,000, the case has been moved from a state court in West Virginia to a federal court. The plaintiff claims that his mother was a victim of medical malpractice.
Patients in North Carolina should be able to trust that their doctors are knowledgeable and can accurately diagnose and treat an illness. Unfortunately, the failure to diagnose a patient or to prescribe an appropriate course of treatment can have devastating consequences, as this case seems to underscore. Those who have been the victim of medical malpractice also have the right to seek legal recourse in a civil court. If the claims are successfully argued, they could receive monetary damages as they are allowed under state law.
Source: The West Virginia Record, “N.C. doctor takes malpractice case to federal court“, Thomas Kallies, March 25, 2014