$38.61 Million Jury Verdict in Misdiagnosis of Stroke

Kody Myrick, 17, suddenly slumped over at his job and had difficulty speaking. He was brought to Bakersfield Memorial Hospital’s emergency department. A nurse there made note of a possible stroke. Then an emergency room physician diagnosed profound neurological deficits and ordered a brain CT scan. The scan results showed an abnormality.

Four hours after the onset of symptoms, Kody was seen by a hospitalist to arrange admission to the hospital. The doctor called in admission orders and included a diagnosis of possible stroke. However, Kody was not seen by a doctor for the remainder of that night.

Kody’s neurological condition worsened suddenly the next morning. He was later diagnosed as having an ischemic stroke, which resulted in significant damage to his brain stem. Kody now suffers incomplete tetraplegia and requires 24-hour care.

His father brought suit against the hospital’s emergency room physician and the doctor’s practice group under a vicarious liability theory, all of which alleged medical negligence in choosing not to correctly diagnose and treat Kody’s impending ischemic stroke.

The lawsuit also alleged that the doctors should have obtained a neurological consultation and treated Kody’s condition as an emergency. There was no claim of lost income.

All of the other defendants, except for the hospitalist, settled before trial. The jury returned a verdict of $38.61 million finding that the hospitalist was 40 percent at fault. The emergency room physician was 30 percent responsible and a non-party radiologist 30 percent responsible.

The attorneys for Mr. Myrick were Melinda Derish and Conor Kelly.

Myrick v. Hansa, No. CGC-1 1-515329 (Cal., San Francisco Co. Super. May 17, 2013).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling hospital negligence cases, medical negligence cases, physician negligence cases and birth injury cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of a medical provider for more than 37 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Woodstock, Winnetka, Westmont, Western Springs, Worth, Tinley Park, Skokie, Park Ridge, Palatine, Northlake, Lombard, Lockport, Lindenhurst, Chicago (West Loop, Wrigleyville, Ukrainian Village, Streeterville, South Shore, Rogers Park, River North, Old Town), Ill.

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