According to an article in Stars and Stripes, the US Government ended up paying out $7.5 million to a woman because of a successful medical malpractice claim. The claim was heard in California on appeal, after a court in Guam had approved it. The suit was filed by a woman who suffered nerve damage that may have been averted.
Failure to Diagnose
Like over 40% of the medical malpractice claims filed every year, this claim alleged that the doctors failed to diagnose a condition that they should have. It further alleged that the failure to diagnose this condition led to greater suffering on the part of the plaintiff. The suit was filed by a dependent, not by an active-duty service person. Active-duty service men and women cannot sue for malpractice against a branch of the Armed Forces, but dependents can.
The plaintiff in this case had a herniated disc in her back. This was causing the numbness that she complained of, but the right tests were not undertaken for her, according to the suit, and her situation was not reported to the clinic’s doctors by physician’s assistants or nurses to their supervisors. This led to the woman suffering even more damage. The incident that led to the lawsuit took place in 2004, the original court in Guam awarded the $7.5 million in 2008 but it took until 2011 for the California court to finally approve that amount for the plaintiff.
The plaintiff ended up needing surgery for the condition and still suffers with nerve damage. Like other failure to diagnose suits, this one, in part, held that the plaintiff’s suffering could have been averted if the doctors had come through on their duty to provide an accurate diagnosis for their patient.
Pressing a Lawsuit
You can get medical malpractice information about any situation from a competent attorney. Texas has its own laws that govern the amount that awards can reach and how the case has to be made. Medical misdiagnosis lawyers will be able to guide you through the process but remember to act quickly. In most cases, you only have 2 years to go ahead with a medical malpractice lawsuit and that time limit starts at the breach of duty, not at the discovery of the breach of duty. That means that a problem that was discovered 6 months after it was caused is already 6 months into the statute of limitations.