Loss of chance at recovery win in medical malpractice suit

One man who suffered irreversible damage due to a stroke has another chance at gaining compensation after a court of appeals reversed a former decision that stopped him from suing. The first ruling would not allow the man to recover emotional or physical damages allegedly caused by a doctor's negligence. Medical malpractice suits such as this are all too common in New York.

Known as the "loss of chance" legal theory, the medical negligence case is based on the claim that the man never had a chance to recover from the stroke because his doctor failed to give him proper medical treatment. He came to the hospital exhibiting symptoms that were indicative of a stroke patient. The doctor ordered a CT scan and a neurological exam and sent him home, blaming sleeping medication for his symptoms.

On his first visit, the 49-year-old man was at the ER on a Friday night within two hours of experiencing slurred speech, headache, confusion, and loss of vision. After being discharged, he returned to the ER the next day. He was given Vicodin and advised to see an ophthalmologist. He was not told to take aspirin, according to the claim.

On Monday, the man saw his primary physician, who ordered an MRI. At the end of that week, the MRI results showed that he had suffered significant brain damage from a stroke. His first attempt to sue for negligence was denied. That decision was reversed in the appeal because of his loss of a chance at recovery.

This man can now go to court and sue for medical malpractice. Anyone in New York who has suffered because of the negligence of a medical facility, nurse, doctor, or other medical professional has the right to seek counsel. A personal injury attorney can advise the client on what his or her next steps should be in pursuing compensation.

Source: legalnewsline.com, "Ore. SC allows claim for loss of chance at recovery in med-mal case", Dee Thompson, May 16, 2017

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