$6.29 Million Jury Verdict in Failure to Diagnose and Treat Coronary Artery Disease Leading to Death

James Kowher underwent a stress test after experiencing an episode of chest pain while he was sleeping. Cardiologist Dr. Sobhan Kodali interpreted the test as negative.

About nine months later, Kowher experienced repeated chest pain episodes accompanied by shortness of breath, nausea and perspiration. Additionally, these episodes were increasing in frequency and severity and continued for up to ten minutes. Kowher’s primary care physician arranged an appointment with Dr. Kodali for two days later.

Dr. Kodali ordered an EKG and diagnosed Kowher as having panic attacks before discharging him. The primary care physician subsequently referred Kowher to a gastroenterologist, whose notes stated that Kowher’s chest pain were ongoing and worsening.

Several weeks later, Kowher collapsed while jogging. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy showed severe coronary artery disease, with an 80% blockage of the left main coronary artery and more than 90% blockage of the left interior descending artery.

A pathologist concluded that Kowher’s death was a result of a cardiac arrythmia secondary to a coronary vascular disease. A coroner listed myocardial infarction secondary to severe coronary artery disease.

Kowher was 48 years old at the time of his death. He had worked for the Department of Corrections earning approximately $70,000 per year. He was survived by his wife.

Kowher’s wife and his estate sued Dr. Kodali, his medical group, and his employer, alleging that he chose not to diagnose and treat severe coronary artery disease. The Kowher estate asserted that the cardiologist had taken an inadequate history and should have ordered a cardiac catherization in view of Kowher’s symptoms and risk factors, which included obesity, family history of coronary artery disease and elevated cholesterol.

The jury signed a verdict for $6.29 million in favor of the Kowher estate. The defendants filed post-trial motions, which were denied.

The attorney handling this tragic case for the Kowher family was Andrew S. Youman.

Kowher v. Kodali, No. 2018-C-0264 (Pa. Ct. Com. Pl. Lehigh County).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling wrongful death lawsuits, medical negligence cases, cardiology errors, physician negligence cases and cardiovascular negligence lawsuits for individuals, families and loved ones who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of a medical provider for more than 40 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Cicero, Westchester, Oak Brook, Lombard, Wheaton, Bloomingdale, Lake Zurich, Morton Grove, Northbrook, Long Grove, Lake Barrington, Mount Prospect, Bedford Park, Bridgeview, Alsip, Crestwood, Forest Park, Olympia Fields, Chicago (Back of the Yards, Avalon Park, Chatham, Washington Heights, Calumet Heights, Morgan Park, Mount Greenwood, Marquette Park, McKinley Park, Little Village, Little Italy, Greek Town, Roscoe Village, Beverly, East Side, Ravenswood Manor), Elmwood Park, Hinsdale, Burr Ridge, Orland Hills, Harvey, South Holland and Chicago Heights, Ill.

Robert D. Kreisman has been an active member of the Illinois and Missouri bars since 1976.

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