Case Summary: Failure to Diagnose
In many states "tort reform" laws have made it more difficult for injured individuals to file lawsuits against doctors, hospitals and big corporations. For example, in Missouri there is a $550,000.00 cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. That is the most that can be recovered for pain and suffering or the death of a loved one. This became a problem in a recent case tried by Marty Perron in the City of St. Louis.
The plaintiffs were a 55 year old tow truck driver and his wife who sued a surgeon and an emergency room physician after the man's leg was amputated. Mr. Perron was able to establish that the general surgeon was negligent for failing to have the lab results sent to the doctor who was covering his patients while he was out of town. And there was even stronger evidence that the emergency room doctor, who had all of the information about diabetes and early signs of infection, was negligent for not having the man hospitalized. After a long trial, the jury found in favor of the plaintiffs and awarded them $1,300,000.00 damages. The defendants argued that the plaintiff was only allowed to recover $550,000 for his non economic injuries. Mr. Perron was able to persuade the Court, however, that the law allowed $550,000 for each "plaintiff;" and the man's wife was also a plaintiff.