Plaintiffs in this case were the mother and father of a 17-year-old boy who died when his pediatricians refused to take his complaints seriously. The 17-year-old boy in this case developed flu-like symptoms and his parents took him in to see the pediatrician. The pediatrician said that this was a normal flu and that all the parents needed to do was make sure that their son took appropriate fluids and rested.
The next day, the flu symptoms worsened and the boy was experiencing a stiff neck. The parents again brought him in and doctor’s attitude was “What are you bothering me for?” and sent them home with advice to continue to give fluids. That night, the teenage boy was unable to take any fluids and his neck had become stiffer.
The parents called the pediatrician’s partner who stated that he was sure it was just the flu; however, they should bring their son in the next day. The next day, the pediatrician performed a spinal tap which revealed significant evidence of meningitis; yet, the doctors again sent the boy home with his parents.
That night, the teenage boy appeared deathly ill to the parents who again called the doctor who said that they needed to give it a few more days. He died that night in his sleep.
The doctors defended themselves by claiming that there was no evidence which would have indicated a life threatening condition; therefore, a hospitalization was unnecessary.
The law offices of Winer, McKenna, Burritt & Tillis LLP, was able to establish through expert testimony that the standard of care would have required that the teenage boy to have been hospitalized at least two days before he died and if he had been hospitalized, he could have been treated aggressively for the meningitis and been saved. The case settled for the maximum amount of pain and suffering damages allowed in a medical malpractice case: $250,000.
RESULT: Settlement on behalf of parents of $250,000