In February of 2010, a 46-year-old man went into the Tully Health Center and complained about “flank pain” or pain along the sides of his abdomen. The center performed a CT scan and then released the man, without pursuing any further diagnostic exams.
Less than two weeks later, the man was taken by ambulance to the Stamford Hospital in critical condition due to a pulmonary embolism, a block of one or more major arteries in the lungs. The man died the following day while in an intensive care unit. Now his family is pursuing a wrongful death claim for hospital errors and medical negligence.
This March, his wife filed a multi-million dollar medical malpractice lawsuit against the Tully Health Center and an emergency room medical contractor for failing to diagnose the fatal condition that killed her husband. His autopsy revealed that he died from weeks-old pulmonary embolisms in both lungs. Based on the medical records, the man could have been saved had he been properly evaluated and diagnosed.
Defense attorneys for the hospital claim that the testing performed was proper and in accordance with standard practices, given the man’s symptoms. Attorneys for the victim’s wife argue that the hospital was not permitted to discharge the patient without ruling whether he was suffering from a life-threatening condition. Medical experts also believe that had the proper diagnostic testing been completed, the man’s fatal condition would have been revealed and he could have been appropriately treated to save his life.
The wrongful death claim seeks several million in damages, including lost wages for the man’s untimely death. In Connecticut, the family is also entitled to pursue compensation for loss of companionship as well as other personal and economic expenses associated with the loss of a spouse and father.
Connecticut Post, “Greenwich widow files malpractice suit against Tully Center,” Jeff Morganteen, March 5, 2012.