In May 2017 Sommers Schwartz attorneys Richard Groffsky and Matthew Curtis secured a confidential settlement on behalf of the family of a deceased mother and her deceased newborn child. The mother, the 32-weeks pregnant, presented to the defendant hospital’s emergency room complaining of radiating chest pain. An initial EKG showed abnormal heart activity, which the defendant ER physician did not accept. He ordered a second EKG that was interpreted as normal, diagnosed the patient as suffering from anxiety, and sent her home despite her continuing complaints. One hour later the mother went into cardiac arrest and was taken back to the ER, where she underwent an emergency Caesarean section. Shortly after, she died from a coronary artery dissection, a heart condition not uncommon among pregnant women. The following day, her newborn baby died due to significant hypoxic ischemic brain damage.
The plaintiff claimed that, had the ER physician promptly and properly sought a cardiac consult for the patient based on her first EKG results, she would have been diagnosed and timely treated, and her then unborn son would have been timely delivered before experiencing brain injury. Prior to the filing of a formal complaint, the parties – all of whom reside or do business in Michigan – reached a settlement that provides monetary damages for the wrongful deaths of the mother and her newborn child, loss of household and childcare services for the mother’s two surviving children and the negligent infliction of emotional distress to her fiancé and two-year-old daughter, who witnessed her cardiac arrest.