Posted on Aug 31, 2007
Jury awards $5.4 million for misdiagnosis in Seattle hospital ER
SEATTLE -- An emergency room doctor's failure to diagnose a severe heart condition four days before the patient died has resulted in a $5.4 million jury award.
Dr. Grace Dy was negligent when she prescribed heartburn medication for Tri Hoang, 30, at the Swedish Medical Center emergency room and sent him home on Aug. 17, 2004, a King County Superior Court jury decided on Tuesday.
Hoang, a computer systems engineer who supported a younger brother and other members of his family, went to the University of Washington Medicine-Belltown Clinic two days later and was diagnosed with a heart infection. He died Aug. 21 of an aortic rupture, a tear in the main artery from the heart.
In a trial that began May 30 on a lawsuit filed by Hoang's family, the jury rejected claims against the clinic but awarded damages from Dy, who does not work for Swedish. The family did not sue the hospital, which contracts with Seattle Emergency Physicians, Dy's employer, for emergency room doctors.
Her lawyer, David L. Martin, said an appeal was being considered.
"Dy is a fine physician, and we believe she complied with the standard of care," Martin said.