Recent Medical Malpractice Award One of Missouri’s Largest

Whitney Taylor | August 14th, 2013

Medical Malpractice AwardA Maryland Heights couple was granted a $6.4 million medical malpractice award by a jury after the husband suffered a stroke in 2007. The plaintiffs alleged a missed diagnosis of a bacterial infection in a heart valve led to the acute stroke, which left the man partially impaired and unable to work.

Mitral valve prolapse diagnosis “disappeared” from patient file

According to the complaint filed by Jeffrey and Connie Schneider, Jeffrey Schneider was diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse in 1996. Mitral valve prolapse is a condition where a valve inside the heart does not close properly, which can result in blood flowing backward in the heart. Schneider underwent an echocardiogram in 2001, which showed mitral valve prolapse was still present.

After the 2001 test results, no further echocardiograms were ordered by Schneider’s physician, Dr. Joseph Thomspon of SSM DePaul Medical Group. In fact, Schneider’s diagnosis of mitral valve prolapse disappeared from Schneider’s list of medical problems by March, 2002. Thompson also never referred Schneider to a cardiologist for monitoring of his condition.

Plaintiff alleges illness linked to heart valve problem

In April, 2007, Schneider fell ill and complained to Thompson of abdominal pain, loss of appetite and fatigue. Schneider described his symptoms to his physician as a feeling he was going to die. At that time, Thompson referred Schneider to additional physicians in an effort to make a diagnosis on his condition. However, a cardiologist was not included on Schneider’s referral list.

By May, 2007, Schneider’s wife Connie called Thompson to request that her husband be admitted to a hospital due to his deteriorating condition. Thompson asked the couple to wait for hematology test results before seeking hospital care, the plaintiffs claimed. On June 12, 2007, Schneider suffered an acute stroke due to a bacterial infection in a heart valve that Thompson had failed to diagnose.

As a result of the stroke, Schneider has limited use of the right side of his body. He has also suffered short term memory damage and now has difficulty processing words. According to their complaint, he is no longer able to work. Previously, Schneider held a post as a bank examiner and IT specialist for the Federal Reserve Bank.

The couple sought monetary damages, claiming Thompson’s negligence led to his failure to diagnose Schneider’s bacterial infection. Had the infection been correctly diagnosed, it could have been treated and the acute stroke never would have occurred.

The jury who heard the allegations agreed to a medical malpractice award of $6.4 million to compensate the couple for pain and suffering, economic losses and medical expenses. The award is thought to be one of the largest ever in the state of Missouri.

Filing a New York medical malpractice lawsuit

Like the Missouri couple, patients in New York can be injured at the hands of a negligent medical provider. According to Becker’s Hospital Review, the state of New York tops the list for medical malpractice payouts, at more than $763 million. The Bureau of Justice Statistics cites the average medical malpractice award to be approximately 17 times higher than the average awards in jury tort trials.

Approximately one-third of all the medical malpractice claims made are related to missed diagnosis, like the Schneiders’ complaint in Missouri. If you believe you have been the victim of a diagnosis error, or another type of doctor negligence in New York, it is important to contact an attorney right away. The statute of limitations for a New York medical malpractice lawsuit is 2 ½ years, which begins when the malpractice that caused the injury occurred.

The Sanders Firm has decades of experience helping victims of medical malpractice in New York. Our team is committed to ensuring those who have been injured at the hands of a health care professional get the compensation they are entitled to. We understand the complexities of a medical malpractice case and work diligently to ensure the rights of the victim are protected and heard throughout the legal process.

The Sanders Firm works with victims of misdiagnosis in Long Island, Staten Island, Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Manhattan. Call us today for a free, no-obligation evaluation of your case at 1.800.FAIR.PLAY (800.324.7752).


  1. St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Maryland Heights Couple Win $6.4 Million Medical Malpractice Verdict  http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/maryland-heights-couple-win-million-medical-malpractice-verdict/article_210e71e3-481b-54ca-a625-e1f637a07b31.html

  2. Becker‘s Hospital Review, 29 Statistics on Medical Malpractice Payouts and Lawsuits http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/legal-regulatory-issues/29-statistics-on-medical-malpractice-payouts-and-lawsuits.html

  3. Bureau of Justice Statistics, Medical Malpractice Trials http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=4511