Valenzuela Law Firm, PA | Trial Attorney
Attorney Henry E. Valenzuela

$11 Million Settlement in Medical Malpractice Action Against Physicians and Hospital For Failing To Timely Diagnose and Treat Stroke

The Plaintiff was an adult male who presented to the hospital emergency department with signs and symptoms of a stroke. The triage nurse examined the Plaintiff and diagnosed a stroke but failed to inform the emergency room physicians of his view. The emergency room physicians at first believed the Plaintiff’s condition was due to illicit drugs. This was possibly due to the emergency department’s history of treating patients with drug related presentations. However, the Plaintiff’s family denied any history of illicit drug consumption.

A routine CT was ordered and performed which was misread as normal when in actuality it showed two clots in the brain. Ultimately, all lab work and toxicology screens proved negative ruling out illicit drugs. Because the emergency room physicians did not connect the Plaintiff’s symptoms with a stroke presentation no stroke alert was called. Instead, the Plaintiff was admitted to the floor with a diagnosis of general encephalopathy and an order for a neurology consultation.

Subsequently, the Plaintiff’s condition worsened causing him to fall out of bed. Another CT was performed which was again misread as normal. The Plaintiff’s condition continued to deteriorate until the Plaintiff’s wife insisted on the performance of an MRI. An MRI was performed which detected the subject blood clots and led to the stroke’s diagnosis. Unfortunately, by this time no medicinal or surgical treatments were available to treat the stroke. Also, the Plaintiff developed increased intracranial pressures requiring in the performance of a craniotomy to relieve the pressure and another surgery to re implant a section of his skull which was removed as part of the craniotomy. After that the Plaintiff went through extensive rehabilitation and ultimately reached maximum medical improvement. He was left with severe physical and cognitive impairments. He will never use his arms, walk or speak normally again. He also will never work again in any capacity. He is married with two children.

The Defendants denied any negligence arguing that the Plaintiff’s complaints were not specific enough to point to a stroke and further that even if they were negligent there were no treatments available that would have avoided or significantly lessened he Plaintiff’s ultimate injuries. The case settled before trial for total of $11 million.