$750,000 Recovery from Delay in Treating Bacterial Meningitis

The family of a 6 year old Essex County girl accepted a settlement following a mediation in which they claimed there was a delay in diagnosing their daughter’s bacterial meningitis.

The parents brought the girl to the ER Department after she experienced vomiting, a fever, and visual disturbances. She was sent home with a diagnosis of a viral illness. She returned back to the ER the following day with the same symptoms; an elevated fever and faster heart rate. She was discharged home again with a viral illness diagnosis. No laboratory work was ordered to rule out a possible infection, nor was a lumbar puncture performed. The next day the symptoms worsened and the parents brought her to the ER of a different hospital. A lumbar puncture was performed suggestive of an infection; but by this time the infection had spread to multiple body systems, and, despite aggressive treatment, the child died a few days later from Group A strep, sepsis, and meningitis.

The family alleged that had the diagnosis of infection been considered at the first hospital a lumbar puncture could have been performed, resulting in an earlier diagnosis and earlier treatment, which may have been life-saving.

Blume Forte partner Michael Zerres represented the family.