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Delaware County, PA

This medical malpractice action was brought against the defendant primary care physician and the entities which employed him by a 61-year-old Delaware County, Pennsylvania man who suffered a massive stroke. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant doctor failed to address and/or control his high blood pressure and other risk factors for stroke, thereby permitting the stroke to occur. The defendants argued that the stroke resulted from the plaintiff’s failure to take medications and keep his medical appointments.

The plaintiffs contended that the defendant doctor failed to appreciate the significance of the plaintiff’s signs and symptoms of an impending stroke and his rising high blood pressure, when the plaintiff was evaluated by the defendant in his office on May 14, ________.

The plaintiff claimed that his rising high blood pressure of ________/80 later became the trigger for a massive stroke, in light of his underlying risk factors for stroke.

Evidence showed that, approximately two days after the May 14 office visit with the defendant, the plaintiff suffered a massive ischemic stroke involving several blocked cerebral arteries. He was rushed to a local hospital with an initial blood pressure reading of ________/________. Unfortunately, it was too late to salvage damaged brain tissue, and doctors indicated that the plaintiff suffered a permanent brain injury.

The plaintiff was unemployed at the time of the stroke, but had previously worked as a master plumber. Testimony indicated that he expected to start work again the Monday following the incident. The plaintiff was being cared for by his daughter at the time of trial.

The plaintiff’s experts testified that, as a result of the stroke, the plaintiff sustained significant brain injury, and has lost proper function of both legs and his right arm. He is wheel-chair bound, and fully and permanently disabled, according to testimony offered.

The defendants denied responsibility alleging comparative negligence based on the plaintiff’s documented history of alleged non-compliance, which included his failure to take medications and keep medical appointments. The defense showed that the plaintiff had an extensive history of smoking, high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other non-modifiable risk factors such as age, gender and race, as he is African American. The defense contended that the plaintiff’s deleterious medical conditions, which developed due to his non-compliance, placed him at high risk for stroke, and ultimately became the principal cause of it.

The defense further contended that, if high blood pressure was the actual trigger for the stroke, the resulting stroke would have occurred from burst blood vessels (also known as a bleeding or hemorrhagic stroke) as opposed to an ischemic stroke.The jury found the defendant 61% negligent, and the plaintiff 39% comparatively negligent. The plaintiff was awarded $________ in damages, reduced accordingly.

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