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Medical Malpractice Defense Verdict

After a five-day trial and deliberation by a jury for less than one hour, the jury returned a verdict in favor of both of the defendants.

On a Sunday morning in 2009, the 65-year-old decedent presented to the emergency department with symptoms of worsening skin rash all over his body. He had recently suffered from a viral illness. The emergency physician diagnosed a rare bleeding disorder where the body attacks and
destroys its own platelets.

The emergency medicine physician consulted with the on-call hematologist. The physicians agreed on a diagnosis and a treatment plan. The patient was to follow up with his established hematologist the next morning.

The decedent was discharged from the hospital in the late morning, but returned by ambulance later that day. When he was seen again in the hospital, he had signs and symptoms of a severe intracranial hemorrhage. The decedent died the following day in the hospital.

The plaintiff filed suit in Norfolk Circuit Court against the emergency physician and hematology consultant. The plaintiff alleged that both the defendants should have ordered additional treatment, which the plaintiff
alleged, would have prevented the intracranial bleed. Defense experts countered that the treatment plan met the standard of care and that steroids were the correct initial therapy for this rare bleeding disorder.

After a five-day trial and deliberation by a jury for less than one hour, the jury returned a verdict in favor of both of the defendants.

Defense team:

Sean P. Byrne
Sean P. Byrne
Julie C. Mayer
Julie C. Mayer