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$6,150,000 Medical Malpractice Verdict for Emergency Room Misdiagnosis of an Impending Heart Attack that Resulted in Death
Charles Cypher, a South Hills resident, presented to the Emergency Department of the Jefferson Hospital complaining of tightness in his chest and pain radiating down his left arm. During a four hour stay, he underwent an electrocardiogram (EKG) that showed that Mr. Cypher was likely suffering from ischemia, or lack of blood flow to his heart, and was at a significant risk of suffering a myocardial infarction, or heart attack. The EKG was never read and acted upon by the emergency room staff, specifically Dr. Febenido Pascua. Instead, Mr. Cypher was given Motrin and discharged. He was told to put moist heat on his chest for what the emergency room diagnosed as pleuritic chest pain. Six hours later, his wife awoke to find her husband unconscious. An ambulance returned him to Jefferson Hospital where he died the following morning of a massive heart attack.
We filed a wrongful death suit on behalf of Mr. Cypher's estate, his wife, Sherry Cypher, and their three young children. The defendants were Jefferson Hospital and the emergency room physician. After a nine day trial, the jury returned a verdict in the amount of $6,150,000 in favor of the Cypher family. The appeals of the doctor and Jefferson Hospital were all denied, and the entire verdict, in addition to post-judgment interest and delay damages, were recovered from the defendants' insurance companies. Mr. Cypher was employed at the time of his death and the primary financial support of his wife and children. While the verdict will never replace a life lost, and the loss of a husband and father, the judgment proceeds allowed Ms. Cypher to financially provide for herself and her children.