In 2012, a 48-year older man named Richard Shouldis informed his doctor that he was experiencing worsening symptoms of panic attacks, depression, fatigue, excessive worry, difficulty concentrating, and weight loss.
Richard was already taking several medications for anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances, yet his doctor failed to recognize that his depressive and self-destructive state was getting progressively worse. In fact, Richard’s family revealed that he was so agitated and disturbed in the week leading up to his suicide that his doctor should have immediately sent him to a psychiatrist or the hospital.
Despite all evidence to the contrary, Richard’s doctor diagnosed him as having “depression with anxiety,” which he prescribed Xanax for and advised that he see a psychologist. Richard called the doctor’s office after a couple of days to inform the doctor that he was having difficulty sleeping. Without conducting a full consult and examination, Richard’s doctor prescribed him Ambien. At his next appointment, Richard was then prescribed Lexapro and more Xanax.
According to specialists, Richard’s diagnosis should have been “major depressive disorder,” and he should have been provided with psychiatric help immediately. There was plenty of evidence for this diagnosis, as Richard’s anxiety and depression had gotten so bad that he started having issues at work and worried about losing his job and supporting his family.
Unfortunately, the doctor’s failure to diagnose and make the necessary referrals resulted in Richard’s anxiety and depression worsening to the point where he became extremely suicidal and took his own life.
The medical malpractice trial lasted two weeks, and the jury awarded a total of $9.97 million in damages. Of that total, $5 million was awarded for the loss of parental care and guidance for Richard’s children, $2.5 million was awarded for pain and suffering, and $2.47 million was awarded for lost earnings and benefits.
Because of the severity of many illnesses, a failure to diagnose can lead to both disability and even death - thus causing the filing of medical malpractice lawsuits. These are time-intensive and costly, and require the help of an experienced medical malpractice lawyer who can assist you with proving that a failure to diagnose occurred by:
- Showing that a doctor-patient relationship existed between you (or your family member) and your doctor
- Demonstrating that you (or your family member) would not have suffered your current injury/death if your doctor had diagnosed you properly
- Indicating that a more reasonable doctor would have correctly diagnosed your (or your family member’s) medical condition based on your symptoms and treated you accordingly
If you live in NYC, then you should contact an NYC medical malpractice attorney to represent you, as they will be well-versed in the state-specific laws and statute of limitations that apply to NYC residents. You stand the best chance of winning your failure to diagnose medical malpractice lawsuit if you consult with the professionals who are most suited to the job.
If a doctor has injured or disabled you because of their failure to diagnose, you can contact the medical malpractice lawyers of Rosenburg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff LLP in NYC.
You can have a free, confidential consultation by calling 1-866-516-5887 and speaking to one of our medical malpractice attorneys today.