Saturday, September 1, 2007

$5M+ Verdict in Seattle Med Mal Case

Four days after Mr. Tri Hoang, 30, was sent home from the ER at Swedish Medical Center with acid reflux medicine, he died of an aortic rupture. Now a jury has awarded Hoang's family $5.39 million in its suit against Grace Dy, the ER doctor who misdiagnosed him. It did not find liable his regular doctor at a UW clinic who diagnosed a heart infection two days after the ER visit. $5 million award in negligence case, Seattle P-I, Aug. 30, 2007; Jury awards $5.39 million to family in suit over medical negligence, Seattle Times, Aug. 31, 2007.

After an investigation, the State Board of Health had found that Dr. Dy's actions fell "within the standard of care."

The P-I's "Soundoff" page shows a range of opinion along the lines you might expect -- cases like this are signs of litigiousness or examples of how the tort system protects people. At least one writer questions bringing a case when the State Board of Health had cleared the doctor. I don't know how extensive a Board of Health investigation is, but I note that the trial lasted a month. There was surely a lot more to this than what could be covered in the newspaper stories -- and probably more than what the Board of Health reviewed.

The Hoang family was represented by Felix Gavi Luna and Mike Wampold of Peterson Young Putra. Both are UW Trial Ad instructors (and UW Trial Ad alumni too).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I would just like to ask that no one judge neither the Dr. in this case nor the family. I was able to sit and hear this case for the past five weeks and given the task of determining whether this Dr. was negligent or not. All I want to say is that this is unfortunate for all parties involved.