A jury in Broward county determined that a doctor was liable for medical malpractice after failing to adhere to the standard of care in failing to diagnose a patient properly. The family of the deceased man will receive $2.4 million in damages.
According to reports, Jerry Pettigrossi went to Northwest Medical Center because he felt weak and had “rubbery” legs. A doctor in the emergency room ordered that Pettigrossi be transferred to a specific floor for monitoring, but the patient was taken to a regular medical floor instead. Dr. Ajaib Mann was being covered by an attending physician who was the medical professional who had Pettigrossi placed on the regular floor. Mann did not make the adjustment when he returned to work.
During his stay, Pettigrossi experienced worsening symptoms. He weakness began to progress up his legs. Eventually, all four limbs were paralyzed. A nurse notified Mann that Pettigrossi’s heart rate was spiking, and the doctor failed to examine the patient. Instead, he ordered a consult with a cardiologist. Because the doctor did not examine the patient, Pettigrossi’s paralysis went unnoticed. The man ultimately died.
Lawyers for the family said that Pettigrossi’s symptoms were those of Guillain-Barre syndrome. Had had have been monitored, lawyers said, doctors could have administered medication that would have halted the paralysis before it reached his heart and lungs.
The defense in this case has filed a motion for a new trial.
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