$1.95 Million Settlement for Failure to Diagnose Impending Stroke

A 56-year-old woman who went to the emergency room complaining of blurred vision and numbness in her left pinkie and fourth finger, which had been coming and going for two days. The emergency room physician ordered a CT scan, which was read by a neuroradiologist. The radiologist reported it was negative and the woman was discharged. Two weeks later she had a major stroke leaving her hemiplegic, i.e., half her body was paralyzed. It was shown that the CT was, in fact, not negative, and showed an old infarct which should have been reported since it would have led to a work-up and discovery of the fact that her carotid arteries were blocked. That blockage was the cause of the stroke two weeks later. Additionally, it was claimed that the ER physician should have admitted the patient regardless of whether the CT was negative, and should not have made a diagnosis of “migraine” as the cause of her complaints, particularly as the woman had not complained of a headache and had no history of migraine. The case was settled for 1,950,000 by Blume Donnelly partner, Carol Forte.