Suicide Following Alleged Failure to Properly Treat Depression Prompts $10M Award

May 13, 2019 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care


What's the news. A New York jury awarded nearly $10 million to the widow of a patient who committed suicide after a primary care physician allegedly failed to properly diagnose and treat his depression. The 48-year-old patient presented to the defendant physician, who prescribed two anxiety medications, but did not document a diagnosis in the medical record. Five days later, the patient called the medical office saying that he had insomnia. The physician did not speak to the patient, but did prescribe a sedative. A couple days later, the physician examined the patient. The patient's wife told the physician that her husband was increasingly depressed, and had fatigue, insomnia, weight loss, and increased worrying. At this appointment, the patient denied having any plans of harming himself.

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