A Wisconsin jury verdict returned in August 2014 awarded Donna Halmmark $4 million for a medical malpractice case she filed on behalf of her deceased husband. Ms. Hallmark filed the case against Dr. Shipman of the Walker Baptist Medical Center ER for failing to properly diagnose her husband and treat him for a heart attack. Ms. Hallmark's husband, who was 40-years old at the time, was admitted to the ER in 2008, complaining of feeling ill for two days and suffering chest pain. The doctor failed to invesigate signs and symtpoms of a heart attack, even after the patient continued to complain. Mr. Hallmark was sent home after 4-5 hours. He continued to feel sick and died two days later, after suffering an obvious heart attack and calling 911. He could not be revived at the hospital.
Plaintiff's attorneys argued that Dr. Shipman failed to act in accordance with the proper standard of care for an emergency room physician, neglecting to consider a cardiac problem and order the proper blood tests to determine the correct diagnosis. The jury agreed with this argument, awarding Mrs. Hallmark $4 million. Plaintiff's attorneys say this is an important verdict that will send a message to physicians in the emergency room that they must meet a certain standard of care before releasing patients.
Read our earlier post about why doctors might be sick of their profession.