Fun Times with Heart Disease....


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Social climber
Aug 22, 2013 - 01:05pm PT

Based on the medical records there is no evidence that standard of care was not met until her last ER visit. Medical records are considered the absolute truth, so even though she many have complained about something like jaw pain if it wasn't in the records it didn't happen. Also there was the confounding issue of the recent car accident (hit by texting driver). For the last day in the ER, based on the medical records, it is pretty clear that they were negligent and it likely resulted in her death.

My father sued the hospital on behalf of my Mother's estate. In Maine, the maximum award for a case like this is a little over half a million dollars. Much larger awards can be made for pain and suffering or loss of income, but neither of those really apply in this case. They can only award money for pain and suffering from when they can prove the negligence began -- in this case it would be pain and suffering covering a period of hours. And loss of income doesn't apply because my parents were both teachers and elected to take a slightly reduced pension payment that would remain unchanged if one of them passed away.

In Maine these medical malpractice cases need to go before a panel before they are allowed to go to trial. The panel consists of a panel chair, a former lawyer who does this as a full time job and is quite knowledgeable about medical malpractice. There is a medical expert, in this case an ER doctor because the case is against the ER department, and a lawyer. I believe the doctor and lawyer are required to do this as part of their obligations for state licensing. We won the panel hearing 3-0, which means the hospital's insurance company will probably settle before the trial starts, but it hasn't happened yet. So out of a 500-600K settlement the lawyer will take a fixed percentage plus expenses (one expert witness from Boston and one from Cleveland had to be paid to review the records and travel to Maine to testify at the panel, our lawyer had to meet with them prior to the hearing to take their depositions, etc). My father will be lucky to end up with $300K, but it really isn't about the money -- it is about acknowledging responsibility, reviewing procedures, and making sure it doesn't happen again. BTW, the hospital conducted an internal review and the physicians assistant (who was responsible for most of her treatment at the ER) is no longer employed at that hospital (I do not think this is a coincidence) and the supervising physician is retiring (may be a coincidence).

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Aug 22, 2013 - 01:20pm PT
Paul, all the best of luck to you.


Trad climber
Central Valley, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 23, 2013 - 12:08am PT
Got out of OP around 2:30 today. One artery was 70% blocked and the other was 90% blocked. The main artery, the LAD looked good. they through 2 stents in and did some ballooning. Turns out I had one if the top cardiac intervention docs in the world from Stanford, Dr. Fearon. Moreover, he only comes to the VA 1 day a week...thursdays. WIN!

I'll be outta here tomorrow.

thanks for all the warm thoughts!

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Aug 23, 2013 - 12:50am PT
That's fantastic news Paul. Glad to hear it!

Trad climber
fort garland, colo
Aug 23, 2013 - 11:18am PT
Good luck paul- i just recently joined 'cardiac club" at 53.. 3 weeks in hospital... maybe needing a LVAD device (Ihope not) and bilateral pacemaker, but not now, the ticker is just too weak

Light excersise,walking and meds for a couple months, I have already gotten some fuction back
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