Medical Malpractice: When Is Right to File a Lawsuit?

Guadalupe Ostos, 65, went to a clinic in Los Angeles when she started having problems while breathing. Once in the clinic, doctors diagnosed her with chronic eosinophilic pneumonia and antibiotics were prescribed to treat the disease. However, the doctors who treated her were unaware that Guadalupe also suffered from a very rare allergic condition to penicillin, one of the main components of the antibiotics prescribed to her.

During the following days, the woman presented difficulty in breathing, inflammation of tongue, throat and lips, dizziness, and loss of consciousness. The doctors did not realize then that she was allergic to penicillin and when they tried to treat the symptoms with epinephrine one week after her admission it was already too late, 65 years old Guadalupe Ostos had died after a severe respiratory complication.

Her children filed a complaint against the clinic for medical malpractice, arguing that the institution had failed to treat the symptoms of the disease in time. Meanwhile, the clinic argued that they were not guilty of the death because they had not been informed of Guadalupe’s allergic condition prior to the treatment of her pneumonia.

However, a jury determined that the clinic was guilty of the wrongful death of Guadalupe because it had taken too long to diagnose the penicillin allergy that led to the worsening of his already complicated disease. For this reason, the jury gave the children of Guadalupe a wrongful death compensation of $ 1 million, $400 thousand due to the medical expenses of the woman during her stay in the clinic and the rest was granted by the jury to their children as a punitive measure to the clinic in the form of pain and suffering.

What Can We Conclude from This Case?

It is clear that the clinic had a golden opportunity to avoid being sanctioned in this situation because the institution was not responsible for the woman’s allergy to penicillin. However, the negligence occurred during the week in which the clinic was unable to detect the condition despite the obvious symptoms. Guadalupe herself told her nurses that she felt “worse” than when she entered the institution and told them that she felt “bloated” which increased the negligence of the medical staff in providing adequate patient care.

If you feel that your doctor has failed to provide you with an adequate service or has caused suffering to your loved ones you can contact us, we will help you achieve a fair compensation.