Injuries: Impairments in Short-Term and Long-Term Memory, Double Vision in Right Eye, Neck Pain, Knee Pain
Facts and Claim of Liability:
On March 31, 2006, plaintiff realized he had a high fever. The next day, although he was still feeling sick, he went to work, but ultimately could not finish the day on account of an extreme headache and high fever. He returned home.
The next day, on April 1, plaintiff woke up and discovered that there were little black spots all over his body. He also still had an extreme headache and high fever. His wife took him to Defendant Hospital Kings County Hospital Center’s emergency room, but hospital staff told them that it was “just the flu,” and sent them back home.
Back at home, plaintiff continued to experience an extreme headache and high fever. Eventually, he took two Tylenol and tried to go to sleep, but couldn’t. Plaintiff’s wife came to check on him about an hour and a half later. When she spoke to him, he did not answer, but attempted to open his eyes to look at her. He could only open one. He was unable to speak or get up from the bed.
Plaintiff’s wife immediately called 911. When the paramedics arrived, they examined plaintiff and told plaintiff’s wife that he was “fine” because his blood pressure was normal.
The next day, plaintiff and his wife arrived via ambulance at defendant hospital’s emergency room. Plaintiff’s wife recalls that they waited in the hospital for hours because hospital staff could not figure out what was wrong with plaintiff. Hospital staff continued to run tests.
Eventually, a CT scan revealed that plaintiff had swelling in his brain. Hospital staff told plaintiff’s wife that plaintiff was “very sick,” and that he might have meningitis, but that they needed to run more tests to be sure.
The next day, plaintiff had to be intubated due to respiratory distress.
Finally, on the following day, plaintiff was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis, and transferred to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), where he remained for some time.
Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald filed suit in Kings County Supreme Court, arguing that defendant hospital departed from good and accepted medical practice in the care of plaintiff in failing to diagnose and treat bacterial meningitis, which resulted in severe and permanent injury to plaintiff. Ultimately, Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald settled with defendant for a total of $302,500.00.