Gordon & Silber represented an internist/rheumatologist in a case of medical malpractice. Plaintiff’s decedent was his long-time patient. Although he was healthy, he had some issues including reflux disease, obesity, hypertension and high cholesterol putting him at risk for heart disease. He presented in February 2008 with chest pain. Our client sent him to a cardiologist for a work-up. His stress test and echocardiogram showed no signs of coronary artery disease. He had no more problems until May 2010 when he again presented to our client with complaints of chest pain. Our client did not believe the pain was cardiac in nature. Rather, he believed it might be an esophageal spasm which can cause chest pain. He recommended an anti-spasmotic medication and advised him to return if he wasn’t getting better. Instead of returning he went to a gastro-intestinal doctor (“GI”) in August 2010. The GI diagnosed him with erosive gastritis and put him on some medication. He returned to our client in October 2010 for a flu shot. He advised our client’s nurse that he was still having chest pain. After our client spoke with him and ascertained he wasn’t having any symptoms he strongly recommended to the decedent that he go see a cardiologist. He never followed up with a cardiologist and died of a heart attack in December 2010. He was divorced with 2 kids (22 and 18) and was earning over $200k per year. At trial his estate asked for $ 2 million in lost earnings, $1 million for loss of guidance and $250k for pain and suffering.
We called a cardiologist who maintained that our client acted appropriately. Through our expert and our client we established that his exams, assessment and recommendations were appropriate. We also called the plaintiff’s fiancé, a nurse, on our case and obtained an admission from her that she repeatedly asked him to go to a cardiologist between October and December. She also tried to call an ambulance for him about 24 hours before he died because he was having chest pains.