Lack of Medical Action Prompts Lawsuit and $250,000 Verdict

Whitney Taylor | January 5th, 2017

lawyer and jurorsThe widow of a man who died at UMass Memorial Medical Center has been awarded $250,000 by a jury that determined medical malpractice led to the man’s death. Hospital staff failed to transfer the admitted patient to the critical care unit in a timely fashion, which led to his death many hours later.

His widow alleges that if he had been transferred sooner, her husband might have survived his illness.

Congestive heart failure left untreated

The lawsuit claims that George Strom, Jr., 78, was admitted to UMass Memorial Medical Center on Easter Sunday 2008. At the time of his admittance, he was complaining of unexplained weight gain and shortness of breath. Strom was diagnosed by hospital staff with congestive heart failure and a heart arrhythmia known as atrial flutter.

During his first night at the hospital, Strom’s condition reportedly worsened and hospital staff made arrangements to transfer the patient to the critical care unit. However, the transfer did not occur for a full 11 hours. At that point, Strom was unresponsive. When he arrived at the critical care unit, he was intubated but remained unconscious for 11 days. The family made the painful choice at that time to remove Strom from life support.

The trial, which lasted for two full weeks, ended with the jury’s decision that three of the nurses caring for Strom his first night in the hospital failed to move him to critical care as they were instructed to do. The delay in his transfer was a “substantial contributing cause in his death,” the jury also determined. The jury awarded the family of the deceased $250,000 in damages as a result of their verdict.

A spokesperson for UMass Memorial Medical Center, Tony Berry, told local media outlets that the hospital disagrees with the verdict. There is no word at this time as to whether the defendant will appeal the decision.

Hospital malpractice payouts

Sadly, this case of medical malpractice is not an isolated one, according to recent statistics. Diederich Healthcare found that in 2014 alone, more than $3.8 billion was spent in malpractice payouts. Massachusetts had more than $100 million in payouts during that year. Thirty percent of those malpractice claims resulted in the death of the patient.

Congestive heart failure does not mean the heart has stopped working, but it does indicate the heart is unable to pump a sufficient amount of blood to meet the demands of the body. This is a serious condition that affects millions of people in the U.S. each year. If left untreated, congestive heart failure can lead to a heart attack. The faster the condition is diagnosed and treated, the better the prognosis will be for the patient.

Medical malpractice can encompass many issues in medical care, including the lack of action when a serious problem is diagnosed. Without proper care, even treatable conditions can become life-threatening and even deadly for patients. In the case of George Strom, his family alleges that is precisely what occurred when Strom was admitted to UMass Memorial Medical Center on that Easter Sunday eight years ago.

If you or someone you love is the victim of hospital negligence, legal action can help you collect the compensation necessary to cover your medical expenses and unthinkable loss. However, you will need experienced legal representation to pursue deep-pocketed defendants and recover just reparations.

In practice for nearly five decades, The Sanders Firm boasts a long track record of procuring multi-million dollar awards and settlements for clients across New York. To arrange a free consult, please call 1-800-FAIR-PLAY.