Morrison Mahoney Partners Noel Dumas and John Babcock recently secured a defense verdict in a wrongful death medical malpractice trial in Worcester Superior Court. The 42-year old patient presented to the Emergency Department with complaints of chest pain and shortness of breath. After undergoing extensive testing, the consulting cardiologist ruled out Acute Coronary Syndrome and recommended discharge and outpatient follow-up. Our client, the hospitalist on duty, conducted an exam and followed the cardiologist’s recommendations to discharge the patient with appropriate follow-up instructions.
Approximately ten days later, the patient saw his primary care physician, but then three days after that appointment, he very tragically suffered an acute heart attack and died. At trial, we argued that our client appropriately relied on the recommendations of the consulting specialist to discharge the patient after extensive testing showed no evidence of cardiac disease. We also argued that the acute plaque rupture which caused the patient’s heart attack was sudden, unpredictable, and could not have been prevented