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Medical malpractice: $6.25 million awarded in 2-year-old's death

The saddest experience parents could have may be burying a child, especially if the child's death was avoidable. A Pennsylvania family may be able to move forward after a jury recently found in their favor in a medical malpractice lawsuit, but the void will always remain. The lawsuit stemmed from the death of a 2-year-old girl back in 2009.

According to court documents, the child arrived at a hospital in Harrisburg after she was transferred from a medical center in July of 2009; she was suffering a stomach ailment. Despite X-ray evidence, one of the defendant doctors apparently failed to diagnose the condition as a twisted stomach. Instead, the toddler was diagnosed with viral gastroparesis, and the doctor treated her accordingly. This condition relates to the ability of the stomach to empty food, and the doctor decided against performing surgery because, according to him, he wanted to avoid unanticipated complications. The child was sent home without further treatment.

The plaintiff's attorney argued that, had the problem been investigated surgically, the doctors would have recognized that even if the stomach had turned back to the proper position, this condition could recur. This is apparently exactly what happened some months later, only this time her stomach became septic and ruptured. It was this incident that led to the death of the little girl in October of 2009.

The defendants in this Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawsuit included the hospital where the misdiagnosis took place and several doctors. Furthermore a pediatrician and a pediatric facility where the girl ultimately died were also named as defendants. The $6.25 million that was awarded by the jury included damages for wrongful death, loss of earnings and earning capacity, as well as an amount for pain and suffering -- both physical and mental. Medical malpractice claims can be complicated and may need the guidance of experienced attorneys who focus on protecting the rights of those suffering the consequences of medical errors or negligence.

Source:, "Family awarded $6.25M in 2-year-old's death", Eric Mark and James Halpin, May 21, 2015

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