$________ - MEDICAL MALPRACTICE - LITHIUM TOXICITY - RENAL FAILURE - PERMANENT NEUROLOGICAL INJURY - PLAINTIFF RENDERED INCAPABLE OF CARING FOR HIMSELF.
The plaintiff in this medical malpractice case was a 25-year-old
severely retarded male who was under the care and supervision of the
defendant mental health agency. When he became ill, the plaintiff
was brought to the hospital where blood samples were collected by
the defendant laboratory. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant
treating physicians failed to follow up on the lab tests that were
ordered, and that the plaintiff suffered renal failure and toxic encephalopathy
due to lithium toxicity. The defendant maintained that the delay in
obtaining the lab results did not contribute to the plaintiffs injuries,
nor did it affect the plaintiffs outcome.
There were five defendants in this case, including the mental health
agency, two treating physicians, the physicians group, and the laboratory.
The plaintiff alleged that his lab results suggested abnormal kidney
function. The plaintiff further alleged that the defendant physician
did not follow up on the lab tests that she ordered and that the lab
and personnel in the physicians group failed to advise the physician
of the lab results. The plaintiff suffered renal failure and toxic
encephalopathy due to lithium toxicity and was hospitalized for two
months. The plaintiff also suffered permanent neurological damage
that left him in a wheelchair and rendered him incapable of caring
for himself, which he was able to do prior to his illness.
The plaintiff planned to call several experts, including an economist,
a life care planning specialist and six physicians (two emergency
room physicians, two nephrologists, a neurologist and a general practitioner).
The plaintiffs experts were prepared to testify that with proper
treatment, the plaintiff would have avoided the kidney failure and
the neurological damage that occurred.
The defendant claimed that the delay in obtaining the lab results
did not affect the plaintiffs outcome. The defendant planned to call
experts who were prepared to testify that the delay did not contribute
to the plaintiffs injuries and that the plaintiff could not prove
that his neurological damage was caused by lithium toxicity.
The case settled approximately five weeks before trial for the amount
of $________, with $________ paid up front and $________ in the form
of a structured settlement. A special needs trust was established,
which allows the plaintiffs SSI and health benefits to continue.