68 Year Old Chicago Woman Awarded $7.8M in Medical Malpractice Case

A 68 year old woman from Chicago Illinois was awarded $7.8 million in a medical malpractice lawsuit after emergency room medical staff at the Swedish Covenant Medical Center failed to diagnose her meningitis. She now suffers from severe mental and physical injuries.

The case

According to news reports, Rosemary Mittenthal, a 68-year old former nurse, was experiencing joint pains, neck stiffness and severe headaches. She went to the emergency room at the Swedish Covenant Hospital in northwest Chicago where emergency room staff failed to diagnosis that she was suffering from meningitis – an inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. She was sent home and suffered with the meningitis for three days and now suffers from severe mental and physical injuries. Mittenthal sued the hospital for medical malpractice for its failure to correctly diagnose the meningitis that led to her injuries. The hospital settled Mittenthal’s claim for $7.8 million.

How common is the failure to diagnosis?

Very common. In fact, some say that nearly 40% of all medical malpractice lawsuits are the result of a failure to correctly diagnose patients’ symptoms, such as Mittenthal’s. Legal and health experts say that the bottom line in these cases is that doctors have to correctly evaluate patients and to do that, they should do what is known as a differential diagnosis. What that means is that proper testing must be conducted in order to correctly diagnose patients’ symptoms. Doctors are taught that differential diagnoses must be done in any setting, whether that is in an office, a hospital or an urgent care center. They can be held responsible when they don’t do the proper testing and that failure leads to injury and/or death.

If you were injured due to a medical provider’s failure to correctly diagnose your symptoms in Illinois or elsewhere, consider contacting a medical malpractice attorney whose practice focuses in medial malpractice.