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Family receives compensation after failure to diagnose

New parents, especially new parents of their first child, have many fears. Many see the most devastating of diseases in a tiny case of the sniffles. For these parents, assurance and advice from their pediatrician calms them and puts the illness in perspective. However, for one couple, their fears were falsely allayed by a physician at a hospital, ultimately resulting in a lawsuit alleging that their daughter's death was caused by the physician's failure to diagnose her illness. Maryland parents who feel their child's life has been compromised in a similar situation may be interested in knowing the legal options that are available to them.

Court records detail the events that led to the death of the 2-year-old girl. Her parents took her to an emergency room after being referred by her pediatrician because of an extremely high fever. The doctor there claimed she had an ear infection, and treated and released her. Later the same day, the parents took their daughter to a different hospital where she tested positive for bacterial meningitis, a potentially fatal illness. 

Unfortunately, the girl passed away as a result of her illness, her parents claim. They ultimately decided to sue the first hospital and the physician who treated their daughter of an ear infection, claiming they were negligent because they failed to test her for meningitis. Although lawyers for the hospital argued that there was no negligence because treatment was provided for the young girl, the jury, in its verdict, agreed with the parents and awarded them $1.72 million in damages.

The loss of a child is difficult to comprehend by those who have never had to go through it. However, there are options available to Maryland parents who feel their child's death was caused by negligence on the part of medical providers or their failure to diagnose. While a monetary award is poor compensation for the loss of child, it can help reduce the burden of medical bills and funeral expenses that result for someone else's negligence.

Source: tricountyrecord.com, "Fleetwood couple awarded $1.72M in Reading Hospital lawsuit," Lynn A. Gladieux, June 25, 2013

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