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Misinterpreted Test Results Lead to $3 Million Award

The estate of a Turrington man has been awarded $3 million by a jury in a malpractice suit against a cardiologist who could have prevented the man’s death if he had paid closer attention to test results.

The jury handed down its verdict against Dr. Dariush Owlia and in favor of plaintiff Cynthia Olsen, the wife of Andrew J. Olsen and executor of his estate. The jury’s decision was made on Wednesday after hearing six days of testimony at a Superior Court in Hartford and deliberating for five hours.

The lawsuit named Olsen’s general practitioner, Dr. Stephen Bryant in its case. However, Bryant was not a defendant in the trial although the jury did determine that he was liable for 60 percent of the $3 million award in the case Owlia was liable for the other 40 percent.

On January 24, 2008, Dr. Bryant ordered an echocardiogram for Olsen while the doctor who interpreted the results of the test indicated that Olsen’s aorta stenosis looked more severe in the ultrasound images than what was indicated.

According to the allegations in the malpractice suit, Owlia failed to look at the echocardiogram images or to order an additional echocardiogram. Instead, Owlia sent Olsen back to his primary care doctor, Bryant, without having made any recommendations for treatment for Olsen’s condition of aortic stenosis. Instead, Owlia suggested medication for Olsen.

Olsen’s condition was stabilized for the remainder of 2008. However, in 2009, Olsen developed breathing problems, leg edema and other problems. Bryant prescribed larger doses of diuretics, which increase the excretion of water, it said.

An echocardiogram ordered by Bryant in April of 2009 indicated that Olsen’s condition had worsened. Olsen was admitted to Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in Torrington, and then later transferred to Hartford Hospital, where doctors inserted a balloon into the aortic valve in order to widen it.

Even after the surgery, the valve was extremely narrow, and further surgery for a valve replacement was considered too risky to undertake with Olsen’s condition. Olsen later died as a result of his condition.

While Bryant admitted to his responsibility in Olsen’s death, Dr. Owlia denied any responsibility.

Sometimes a physician can have a lapse in judgment or make a mistake that can forever change the lives of patients and their families. Such mistakes can result in outcomes that are both permanent and tragic. When such mistakes are made, that is when having a lawyer who is both experienced in malpractice law and dedicated to the rights of patients and their families is essential.

At Bottar and Leone PLLC, our attorneys who specialize in medical malpractice and medical negligence law have years of experience. We are committed to protecting the rights of patients and see that they receive every dollar that their case is worth.

If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of medical malpractice or negligence by a physician or other health professional, please contact us today. Our offices will schedule a free consultation and evaluation of your case.