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California doctor involved in medical malpractice lawsuit

The family of a man who was misdiagnosed was awarded $4.8 million by a Suffolk County jury. Despite the fact that this lawsuit played out on the other side of the country, our California readers will be interested as the doctor named in the case currently works in the state.

In 2006, a 23-year-old man visited St. Elizabeth's Medical Center emergency room with complaints of chest pains, fever, and a cough. During his visit, the doctor diagnosed the man with bronchitis and sent him home after prescribing antibiotics and painkillers.

The next morning, however, the man was found dead at approximately 6 a.m. Following his death, medical examiners found that he died from myocarditis, a virus that attacks the heart muscle. It is believed that an electrocardiogram would have revealed the infection, however, the doctor failed to order this test when the man visited the emergency room.

The doctor at the center of the lawsuit did not renew his medical license in Massachusetts in 2010, however, he is currently practicing medicine at Enloe Medical Center in Chico, California.

After a five day trial, the jury determined that the doctor was negligent in the care and treatment of the man, thus awarding his mother $4.8 million.

When anybody visits a hospital for care, they expect to be taken care of in the appropriate manner. In this case, the doctor made a mistake that cost a young man his life. In the event of medical malpractice, the victim or their family may wish to consult with an experienced attorney.

The Boston Globe, "Jury awards $4.8m to family in death of patient" Jacqueline Tempera, Mar. 10, 2014

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