Fort Wayne Indiana Personal Injury Lawyer and Attorney Blog

$6.4 Million Awarded to the Children after Misdiagnosed Heart Condition Case

A Pennsylvania jury has awarded $6.4 million to the children of 38 year old Derrick Harlem after ER Doctors misdiagnosed his heart condition

On May 31st, 2009, Harlem passed out while playing basketball and was taken to the Temple University Hospital emergency. Even though Harlem’s symptoms were consistent with that of a  heart attack, he was diagnosed with pneumonia and was discharged later that day with with an antibiotic and Motrin.

Three months later, Harlem passed out again while playing basketball and was transported to Temple University Hospital’s emergency department. Harlem suffered a massive heart attack due to a complete arterial blockage. Harlem died on November 12, 2009 after spending roughly 3 months in a pharmacologically induced coma.

The jury found the doctors and hospital to be negligent of misdiagnosing Harlem’s heart condition. The $6.4 million dollar award is one of the largest in medical malpractice awards in recent years in PA. The verdict includes $5.5 million for the loss of guidance, tutelage and moral upbringing.

Harlem’s case is a perfect example of how failing to diagnose or misdiagnosing a medical condition can have far-reaching, life-altering effects. Due to an error in diagnosis or misdiagnosis of Harlem’s heart condition, his five children between the ages of three and eleven were left without a father. Monetary awards like these can never fix the error, but they can send a clear message to doctors and hospitals.

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If you or a loved one suffered a worsening medical condition or death due to a medical misdiagnosis or are the victims of emergency room malpractice, you may be eligible for damages. Let the Sweeney Law Firm’s medical experts review the facts to see if you have a medical misdiagnosis malpractice case. The Sweeney Law Firm works on a contingency fee basis, meaning we don’t get paid unless there is a settlement or recovery of funds for you.