A young man with cerebral palsy, paralysis, and mental retardation as a consequence of prematurity won his medical malpractice case in D.C. The case was against a doctor working for a District of Columbia clinic at the time he provided medical care to the young man's mother. The jury found the doctor committed an all-too-common medical error; he did not review or follow up on a test result.
We see this over and over in medical malpractice cases; doctors, hospitals, and HMOs don't take simple steps to follow up on tests, re-test a patient if the results aren't available, and act on the test results. This applies to lab results, x-rays, MRIs, sonograms, and a number of other tests.
In this case, the test was a urine culture on which the doctor never followed up. Because of that, and because he didn't re-test his patient at her next pre-natal visit, he never diagnosed and treated the infection that caused her premature labor. Premature labor resulted in her son being born prematurely, with a number of medical conditions and health issues caused by the severity of the prematurity.
We won the case at trial and the doctor appealed. The Court of Appeals recently affirmed (we won again).
A jury trial is a hard thing for any client to go through. We were very fortunate to have the young man's mother there every day with us, explaining to the jury all of the care she gave (and still gives) to her son; feeding, changing, bathing, reading to him, and watching over him while his healthy younger brothers played with him.
To secure a good outcome for this young man; it made it all worthwhile.