Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Former veteran dies at Pennsylvania VA facility

A wrongful death lawsuit is being filed on behalf of a Hampton Township veteran that recently died in a veteran administration's facility in the Pittsburgh area. The patient in question was originally diagnosed with legionella pneumonia after being treated at the facility for shortness of breath.

The patient was then treated and released only to be readmitted with other symptoms a short time later. The patient died two days after his original diagnosis.

The fact that the patient had to be readmitted to the hospital shortly after his release at least raises the suspicion that something was missed when diagnosing his condition. However, attempting to prove a misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose can be extremely difficult for attorneys trying medical malpractice cases.

In medical malpractice cases, attorneys will need to retain expert witnesses that can provide an opinion has to how a diagnosis was missed, demonstrate that the missed diagnosis was something an ordinary medical provider would have picked up if due diligence had been performed, and prove that the missed diagnosis actually resulted in a patient's illness, exasperation of an illness, injury or death.

Medical malpractice will pit medical experts versus the treating hospital staff accused of medical negligence. The attorney will question a large number of witnesses, and then have to summarize complex medical testimony and terminology to a jury made up of individuals that likely have no medical background whatsoever.

We cannot afford to have medical providers make mistakes concerning routine diagnosis, and this is part is why medical malpractice cases are in place.

Source: CBS Pittsburgh, "Family To File Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Veterans Affairs," by Harold Hayes, Dec. 10, 2012

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