$7.5 Million Jury Verdict in Failure to Diagnose Impending Stroke

Finis Cuff, 61, had a history of smoking and other health problems, including diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. When Cuff experienced elevated blood pressure, primary care physician Dr. Douglas Keagle prescribed medicine. Cuff’s blood pressure continued to rise, and he returned to Dr. Keagle who prescribed a different blood pressure medication. He then instructed Cuff, whose blood pressure had risen to as high as 200/80, to monitor his blood pressure.

Two days later, Cuff suffered a massive ischemic stroke, resulting in brain damage and lost functioning in both of his legs and right arm.

He sued Dr. Keagle alleging that he chose not to diagnose an impending stroke and refer him to a hospital for an immediate workup. The lawsuit did not claim lost income.

Dr. Keagle argued that Cuff’s medical conditions resulting from his failure to take prescribed medications and appear for scheduled appointments put him at a high risk for stroke. The jury entered a verdict of $7.4 million finding that Cuff was 39% at fault.

The attorneys representing Cuff were Andrew J. Stern and Elizabeth A. Crawford.

At the trial, plaintiff’s counsel engaged expert witnesses in internal medicine and blood pressure and neurology. The defendant’s experts were physicians with expertise in internal medicine and neurology.

Cuff v. Keagle, No. 2012-4005 (Pa. Ct. Com. Pleas Delaware County, April 15, 2015).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling medical malpractice cases, surgery malpractice cases and birth trauma injury cases for individuals and families who have been injured or killed by the negligence of a medical provider for more than 38 years, in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas including, Deerfield, Joliet, Bolingbrook, Romeoville, Elgin, Aurora, St. Charles, Hinsdale, Waukegan, Prospect Heights, Chicago (Rogers Park, Lincoln Park, Jefferson Park, Lincoln Square), River Forest, Oak Park and Wilmette, Ill.

Related blog posts:

Internist’s Failure to Rule Out Stroke Results in $6.37 Million Jury Verdict

$2.25 Million Settlement when Hospital Chooses Not to Send Patient to Hospital When Stroke Symptoms Were Obvious

$38.61 Million Jury Verdict in Misdiagnosis of Stroke