Wrongful death is, sadly enough, a common type of case taken on by many medical malpractice attorneys. And while the following case happened in Philadelphia, similar cases happen everywhere.
Litigation on the case began over two years ago, March 1, 2010. The Frederick Nice filed as the administrator of the late Derrick Harlem, whom he said suffered wrongful death due to the medical malpractice of two doctors and a host of institutions.
Nice filed on behalf of Mr. Harlem’s 5 children, age 1 to 8. Harlem was only 38 when he died due to a heart attack and its complications. Nice claimed that the children, as Harlem’s beneficiaries, were are entitled to both survival and wrongful death damages.
Defendants in the suit included resident physician Marcia W. Edwards, attending physician Robert T. McNamara, and several different entities of Temple University involved in healthcare (as well as the university itself).
Mr. Harlem was admitted to Temple University Hospital’s emergency room on May 31, 2009, after complaining of shoulder and chest pains following a game of basketball. Mr. Harlem had a history of Atrial fibrillation. During this specific instance of being in the hospital’s care, Harlem displayed an elevated white blood cell count.
The suit also claims that the defendants should have ordered a lipid panel and cardiac biomarkers for Harlem. Harlem was diagnosed with pneumonia and syncope (generally speaking, fainting caused by low blood pressure).
Harlem experienced similar problems after a basketball game again in late October of that same year, and was diagnosed as having a severe heart attack. He died several days later, in November 2009.
As any good medical malpractice attorney will know, Derrick Harlem’s original symptoms (aching chest and shoulder after physical exertion) sounded a lot like a heart attack. It’s no wonder they wonthe malpractice and wrongful death suit when the doctors diagnosed him with pneumonia instead of properly checking his heart.
No one should have to die from a heart attack at age 38–especially when a proper diagnosis would have put Derrick on the path to good heart health and sensible workouts. Should your family ever be struck by a tragedy that should have easily been avoided, contact a Maryland medical malpractice attorney at Snyder and Snyder who will see to it your family receives the support it deserves.
Here's more information about the wrongful death case.