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Florida jury holds neurosurgeon & radiologist responsible for paralysis & awards $15.5M in damages for misdiagnosis

Group of neurosurgeons in the operating room

Over the summer, a jury in Florida awarded Jean Magloire and his wife $15.5 million in damages in a misdiagnosis case. In December 2012, Mr. Magloire was hit in a truck accident that ultimately led to the amputation of his right leg.

A few days after the surgery, Jared Thomas, M.D., a radiologist, conducted a follow-up CT scan. In addition to not recommending an MRI follow-up, Dr. Thomas did not properly flag a bone chip described as “a small calcific density paracentral within the spinal canal.” He also failed to comment on an epidural hematoma within the patient’s spine.

Upon reexamining the CT scan, Dr. Mark Fulton, M.D., a neurosurgeon, then failed to “fully investigate, diagnose, treat, or surgically stabilize” these red flags. The jury agreed that, had it not been for the misinterpreted CT scan, Mr. Magloire’s paraplegia could have been avoided.

Misdiagnosis Statistics

When we turn to doctors to treat our illnesses and injuries, we often go in with full confidence in their expertise. However, diagnostic error is more common than you may think. In fact, it appears to be the most common form of medical malpractice.

According to CRICO Strategies, a branch of Harvard Medical Institutions responsible for studying and lowering the risk of malpractice liability, diagnostic error is present in more than one out of every five cases. Specifically, a study conducted by the organization surveyed 124,000 malpractice cases and found diagnostic error in 21%.

As Mr. Magloire’s case illustrates, the consequences of a misdiagnosis can be catastrophic. The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine reports that diagnostic error results in 40,000 to 80,000 deaths each year in hospitals alone within the United States. From false positives and negatives to delays and botched lab tests, diagnostic error is a common problem and should be taken very seriously.

What Compensation Is Available in Medical Malpractice Lawsuits?

No one can put a price on health. Therefore, when the consequences of misdiagnosis are as severe as those in the case of Mr. Magloire, monetary compensation may seem like short shrift.

That said, the law does provide avenues for compensation in the event of medical malpractice. A jury may award compensation for things like:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Aggravation of previous a previous disability
  • Permanent disfigurement and disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Wrongful death

Consult With a Medical Malpractice Attorney

No one enters a doctor’s office expecting to come out worse than when they entered. Yet, medical malpractice catastrophic mistakes are unnervingly common — more so than you would think.

The Law Offices of Dr. Michael M. Wilson, M.D., J.D. & Associates specialize in helping victims of medical malpractice secure maximum legal compensation. As a physician and attorney, Dr. Wilson is uniquely qualified to handle medical malpractice cases. Let him and his team handle yours. Call today for a free consultation.

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