Failure to Order Common Cardiology Test Leads to Fatal Heart Attack and Subsequent Verdict
A New York jury recently awarded a $3.1 million verdict to the family of a 40 year old husband and father (John Benigno) of two who died of a heart attack shortly after reporting cardiac symptoms to his cardiologist who, in response, ordered no additional tests. In January 2002, Mr. Benigno presented to South Shore Heart Associates, a cardiology group, with cardiac symptoms. Mr. Benigno also had a family history of heart disease and a history of high cholesterol. Despite these findings and his symptoms, his cardiologist failed to order a repeat nuclear stress test, a common cardiology test used to rule out a artery blockage. The most commonly performed stress test is an exercise stress test known as an ECG (electrocardiogram) or treadmill test, in which the heart is evaluated as it responds to exertion. The test usually involves walking on a treadmill (or pedaling a stationery bike for an extended period of time) at increasing levels of difficulty while the heart rate and blood pressure are being monitored. In this case, the physician relied upon a negative stress test from 2 years prior. Six months after getting a "clean bill of health" from the cardiologist, Mr. Benigno suffered a heart attack and died. An autopsy revealed significant blockages and narrowing of his coronary arteries. At trial, Mr. Benigno's attorney demonstrated that given the 2 years that passed from the previous negative stress test, the standard of care required that a new test be performed given Mr. Benigno's new symptoms. The jury award that followed included an amount for the loss of parental care, medical expenses, support and guidance of his children.
At STSW, our lawyers routinely handle medical negligence / medical malpractice / medical error cases involving a failure to order basic tests, including but not limited to cardiology tests. Our lawyers routinely appear in the state and federal courts in the Baltimore and Washington D.C. areas, as well as other courts throughout Maryland. We typically are involved in litigation against area hospitals including but not limited to: Johns Hopkins Hospital, University of Maryland Medical Center, St. Agnes Hospital, St. Joseph Hospital, Union Memorial Hospital, Harbor Hospital, Bon Secours Hospital, Sibley Memorial Hospital, Frederick Memorial Hospital, Upper Chesapeake Hospital, Howard County General Hospital, Sinai Hospital, Anne Arundel Medical Center, Baltimore Washington Medical Center, and Washington Hospital Center. If you or a loved one have been victimized by a health care provider for failure to timely diagnose or treat an unknown or known illness/condition as the result of failing to order a well known tests capable of making such a diagnosis, call our team at (410) 385-2225 for a free consultation or visit our website to set up your free consultation. Our attorneys generally pursue such medical malpractice cases on a contingency basis, meaning that our office lays out the funds for the case in advance and our clients are only responsible for repaying those expenses upon the successful resolution of a case, whether it be via settlement, trial or appeal.