On May 3, 2018, Sommers Schwartz attorney Kenneth Watkins filed a medical malpractice suit on behalf of the estate of a 28-year-old man who died approximately six hours after being incorrectly diagnosed with gastroenteritis.
According to the lawsuit, the man arrived at the Hurley Health Services Urgent Care facility complaining of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, coughing, and headache. Although he had an elevated heart rate (148 bpm) and was clearly ill, no tests were performed, and no blood work was ordered – not even a nasal swab to determine whether he had the flu. Instead, the patient was given gastroenteritis medication and discharged from the emergency room by a physician assistant without the approval of a supervising physician.
The patient’s condition rapidly deteriorated after he left Hurley, and he was taken to McLaren Flint Regional Hospital, where he suffered cardiac arrest upon arrival and died.
The complaint alleges that, based on the decedent’s symptoms, the defendant physician assistant failed to comply with the applicable standard of care by not performing the minimally required workup, including blood work and an electrocardiogram, and failed to administer intravenous fluids. The plaintiff claims that if the decedent had been provided basic care, then he would have likely survived. The wrongful death action is pending in Genesee County, Michigan Circuit Court.