Alleged Failure to Order Diagnostic Tests Leads to Two $1M Settlements

October 18, 2013 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care


Two malpractice cases stemming from the alleged failure to order diagnostic testing in New Jersey and New York have settled for roughly $1 million each. In the New Jersey case, the 36-year-old patient visited his primary care physician with shortness of breath, fatigue, and diarrhea. The patient also had diabetes and hyperthyroidism. The physician prescribed an antibiotic and instructed the patient to return in four weeks. Three days later, the patient returned to the office with weakness, diarrhea, and a temperature of 103 degrees. The patient was diagnosed with bronchitis and prescribed another antibiotic. Five days after the patient first presented to the physician, he went to an emergency department and underwent an x-ray showing advanced bilateral pneumonia. The patient died two weeks later. Allegations against the physician included negligence in failing to order an x-ray, admit the patient to a hospital, and to prescribe an appropriate medication. A $1 million settlement was reached. In the New York case, a 63-year-old patient visited a medical office with complaints of abdominal pain that had been present for two weeks. An internist said that the pain was caused by gastritis and prescribed over-the-counter medication.

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