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After a four (4) day trial, a jury awarded $2,287,000.00 on behalf of the husband, two minor children, and an adult daughter of a 46 year old woman who died as a result of the negligence of Marietta Emergimed, Inc.
On March 23,2002, the emergency room group of Marietta Memorial Hospital failed to inform a patient that she might have lung cancer. The patient went to the emergency room complaining of cough and fever. The results of a chest x-ray showed pneumonia and a shadow that potentially could be cancer. The patient was given discharge instructions to follow-up with a primary care physician and obtain a repeat chest x-ray. However, the discharge instructions appeared to be the routine discharge instructions for nothing more than pneumonia. A legal dispute ensued over whether or not the patient was told that she might have cancer and whether or not the patient was herself responsible for not obtaining a repeat chest x-ray.
The jury found that the emergency room group “failed to adequately convey potential severity of abnormal x-ray findings (increased markings) and need for immediate follow up to the patient.” The jury also apportioned some fault on the patient for “failure to take responsibility of her own health care.” The jury found the emergency room group 90% at fault and apportioned 10% responsibility on the patient reducing the overall award down to $2,058,300.00.