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Settlement Reached After Pneumonia Death


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11/5/2010
Brent Adams
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Settlement Reached After Pneumonia Death

The victim, a 35-year-old male, died after visiting an urgent care clinic for flu-like symptoms in February of 2007. The victim’s mother took him to an urgent care clinic three days after he first began having flu-like symptoms. By that time the mother had to use a wheelchair to get him inside. The decedent’s heart was racing and his blood pressure was very low at the time he arrived at the clinic, where he was examined by the Defendant Dr. Freeman.

Dr. Freeman is an experienced emergency medicine physician who was working his first solo rounds for the Healthfirst/Rapidcare, Inc. Dr. Freeman diagnosed the decedent with a virus, hyperventilation and muscle cramps. Valium was prescribed for the muscle cramps and the decedent was given a paper bag to slow down his breathing. He went home and was found dead about two hours later in his bedroom. The cause of his death was a Group A strep pneumonia and sepsis.

The plaintiff argued that the defendant was negligent in failing to perform tests and correctly diagnose the decedent’s medical condition. The mother also said that the decedent would still be alive had it not been for the defendants’ negligence. She also claims the defendants altered her son’s medical records.

The defendants contended that decedent did not give an accurate medical history and was himself negligent. Defendant claimed that the man would have died regardless whether Dr. Thompson was negligent because of the delay in treatment and the severity of the infection.

With regard to the allegations of medical record alteration, the defendants contended that the electronic medical record was completed the day of decedent’s treatment and that it was accurate.

The settlement was $1,400,000 with the defendant Dr. Freeman only.



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