Sudden Chest Pains Claim Man’s Life

In 2004, a Vineland man experienced chest pains and shortness of breath and decided to get checked out at the South Jersey Healthcare Regional Medical Center emergency room. Apparently the ER doctor diagnosed that the man had a virus and sent him home without any prescription for the alleged medical condition. Early the next morning, the man collapsed. His girlfriend called 911 and then a lawyer in Paterson, but the man never made it to the hospital.
A Cumberland County jury returned a seven figure verdict late last month in favor of the man’s estate in a medical malpractice–wrongful death lawsuit. The trial took three weeks of evidence before the jury. The man’s estate claimed that the doctor was negligent in failing to diagnose and treat the true medical condition that the man was experiencing when he was in the emergency room the night before he died.
After being sent home from the ER with the viral diagnosis, the man continued to feel ill that night. He quickly wrote out a will, designating a friend as the executor of his estate should the worst occur. The next morning, the man who had been diagnosed with a mere virus, lost consciousness, collapsed and died of a pulmonary embolism, which is a blockage in the main artery of the lung. The executor of the estate filed a civil lawsuit.
The doctor argued before the jury that the original diagnosis was true and that the man’s pulmonary embolism did not exist the night before the man died. The New Jersey injury lawyer jury found in favor of the man’s estate, and handed down its verdict accordingly.

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