Defense Verdict Returned in Case in which Plaintiff Sought $25 Million for Pain & Suffering

Attorney Louis E. Jakub, Jr. obtained a unanimous defense verdict on behalf of a primary care physician who allegedly failed to diagnose and treat a pericardial effusion which caused cardiogenic shock necessitating the amputation of the patient’s right arm and all of her toes.

The patient, a healthy 23-year-old married mother of a young child, presented to the defendant after being discharged from an ER with complaints of chest pain, shortness of breath, weakness and fatigue. Mr. Jakub’s client performed an EKG, reviewed the ER records and determined that the EKG was normal and that the patient’s complaints were potentially related to a rheumatologic disorder for which he ordered a workup. Plaintiff’s maintained at trial that the EKG demonstrated low voltage caused by fluid around the heart – a pericardial effusion. Mr. Jakub, through his client and experts, maintained that the low voltage was a normal variant, not due to a pericardial effusion. Sixteen hours after leaving the physician’s office, the patient was rushed to an emergency department in cardiogenic shock and underwent lifesaving treatment which involved the surgical draining of a pericardial effusion, the amputation of her right arm and toes, and 27 subsequent surgeries.

Mr. Jakub demonstrated that his client acted reasonably during his evaluation of the patient and that his decision making was consistent with accepted standards of medical practice. Despite the sympathetic nature of the case and the request by the plaintiff’s attorney that the jury award $25 million for pain and suffering, a verdict in favor of the physician was returned by the jury.