It is always tragic when a young person dies unexpectedly leaving behind children without a parent. It is even more upsetting when that person's death could have potentially been prevented had a proper medical diagnosis been rendered. While when a misdiagnosis occurs there is nothing that can be done to bring the deceased person back, those left behind may be able to obtain financial damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
The family of a young Pennsylvania father, who died in 2009, filed one of these lawsuits against doctors at Temple University Hospital, who reportedly misdiagnosed a heart condition. The 38-year-old man died as a result of a massive heart attack in November of that year. He was playing basketball when he collapsed. When he died, he left behind five children.
This was not the first time the man had collapsed. Several months earlier, the same thing had happened, again, while he was on the court. He complained of chest pain and was transported to an area hospital. At that time, doctors determined that he had pneumonia and provided him some medication. Apparently they did not find anything wrong with his heart.
Recently, a jury returned a verdict in favor of the man's children. It awarded his family $6.41 million for the failure to diagnose the heart condition. Certainly, this money will not replace the love and support a father provides his children. It hopefully will make it easier for them to move forward with the lives they have in front of them.
Source: philly.com, "$6.41 million verdict in Temple malpractice lawsuit," Robert Moran, June 2, 2012