Becoming ill may be a bad dream in-and-of itself, but being misdiagnosed, only to have the illness exacerbate tenfold before an accurate diagnosis can be rendered, is a nightmare. We put our trust in doctors and hospitals, assuming that they will take all precautions necessary to ensure a proper diagnosis. When those precautions are not taken, though, results can mean a lifetime of pain or suffering for the victim. Thankfully when a situation like this arises, people like of the law firm of Biancheria & Maliver are there to protect the victim's rights and to fight for justice.
$3.5 Million Malpractice Award
Martin Bliley was awarded $3.5 million by a jury - in addition to the $500,000 Mr. Bliley will receive as part of an agreement with defendant Dr. McGovern during trial - after being misdiagnosed with cancer. The misdiagnosis allowed an infection to quadruple in size, causing significant damage, even after it was brought under control with antibiotics.
After struggling to find words and speak, Mr. Bliley went to the emergency room at Hamot Medical Center. Suspecting a serious medical problem, doctors ordered several tests, among them a brain scan and chest x-ray. Results showed three lesions on his brain and a mass in his lung. At first glance, doctors believed that these results indicated cancer which had spread from Mr. Bliley's lung to his brain. The results could also be interpreted to mean that an infection was present - especially given the fact that Mr. Bliley had an elevated temperature and had actually been treated for pneumonia a few weeks prior.
Doctors ultimately decided upon the cancer diagnosis, and ordered that Mr. Bliley have the mass in his lung biopsied. In conjunction with the biopsy, he was given a high dose of steroids to reduce the swelling in his brain. The biopsy proved to be negative for cancer; however the results were not communicated amongst the doctors. Mr. Bliley contended that the steroid served to only make the infection worse because it was not given in conjunction with an antibiotic.
Approximately 13 days after initially visiting Hamot Medical Center, Mr. Bliley complained that his "head felt full." He was once again unable to speak clearly and was experiencing severe nausea. He returned to the emergency room. A brain scan indicated that the lesions on his brain had quadrupled in size, causing permanent damage. He was finally diagnosed with an infection and given a course of strong antibiotics.
Mr. Bliley, in his law suit, contended that the infection could have easily been treated with antibiotics if he had been properly diagnosed on his first visit to the emergency room.
Court records state that the brain damage suffered by Mr. Bliley has impaired his ability to speak and understand verbal and written words, math and entertainment - to the point that Mr. Bliley carries a card with him to let others know that he is not developmentally disabled or drunk. Most tragically, however, is the effect the infection on Mr. Bliley's ability to perform music, as Mr. Bliley is a classical pianist.
With the help of his attorney, , Mr. Bliley was able to recover the second largest medical malpractice award in Erie County history - $3.5 million. Deborah S. Maliver M.D., J.D. stated that, "we are extremely happy with the outcome. We feel justice has been done ... I am just so happy I was able to get [the Blileys] some help."
After years of dedicating herself to patients, Deborah S. Maliver M.D., J.D. saw the need for a strong advocate for victims of medical malpractice. Using experienced gained over years as a solo practicing physician and as a doctor in the Intensive Care Unit, Deborah S. Maliver M.D., J.D. uses her in-depth knowledge of medicine, proper medical treatment and procedure, and illness to assess injured clients' situations to protect their rights and help them seek compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages and future earnings.
If you suspect you have been the victim of medical malpractice, contact Biancheria & Maliver for an experienced and knowledgeable assessment of your situation.