Sommers Schwartz attorney Dina Zalewski negotiated a pre-suit medical malpractice settlement of $350,000 for a woman who was misdiagnosed as having an ectopic pregnancy and was improperly prescribed methotrexate, causing her to miscarry.
The plaintiff learned on December 19, 2020, that she and her boyfriend were expecting their first child. She visited her primary care physician on December 21, who confirmed that she was, in fact, pregnant. However, a few days later, the plaintiff started spotting and had abdominal cramping. She went to the emergency room complaining of vaginal bleeding and was seen by an OB/GYN resident. A transvaginal ultrasound was performed, but the defendant radiology resident misread it and erroneously reported to the OB/GYN team that the patient had a “left ectopic pregnancy containing a nonviable fetal pole and a nonviable yolk.”
The OB/GYN resident told the plaintiff she had two options—medical management with methotrexate or surgery—and the plaintiff chose the former. On December 29, after she had taken the methotrexate, another ultrasound was performed and showed an intrauterine gestational sac. The impression on the second ultrasound revealed an “intrauterine pregnancy of uncertain viability,” with an estimated due date of August 24, 2021.
The plaintiff was advised she would probably lose the baby, and if the baby did not die, the methotrexate would most likely cause birth defects. On January 18, 2021, the plaintiff began to miscarry and went to the emergency room the next day, where she miscarried in a hospital bathroom.
The plaintiff suffered extreme emotional damage and guilt from the event and blamed herself for taking the methotrexate. She attempted to return to work as an underwriter, but the workload and stress were more than she could bear, so she had to find a position that did not require social interaction. Previously social and outgoing, the plaintiff became reclusive and did not like to go out or see people.
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