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New Mexico jury awards injured patient $1.25 million

A 51-year-old man was awarded $1.25 million by a jury in Santa Fe in case involving a misdiagnosed heart condition. The man alleged that he was misdiagnosed in 2009 by New Mexico Heart Institute when they did not catch a heart defect during a scan. A doctor in California later discovered the defect after the man sought a second opinion.

Reports say that the plaintiff went through two catheter ablation procedures, and a phrenic nerve between his lung and his heart was burned during one of the procedures. Due to this error, the man's attorney said that his client, who used to enjoy an active lifestyle that involved hiking, now suffers shortness of breath. It was reported that the jury took one day to deliberate, and the man's attorney says that due to caps on jury awards in medical malpractice suits, the man may not receive the full sum of the award.

If a patient is injured due to a doctor's failure to diagnose any type of health condition, that patient may be entitled to win compensation in court. It may be possible to win compensation to pay for medical bills incurred, long-term costs related to side effects from a misdiagnosis and additional funds in the form of punitive damages. However, the amount of those damages may be limited under medical malpractice laws.

Talking to a medical malpractice attorney may be worthwhile for anyone who has been the victim of a doctor's delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis. An attorney may be able to ensure that a lawsuit is filed in a timely manner, that witness are deposed and that all relevant documents that are to be used as evidence in court are available.

Source: Santa Fe New Mexican, "Jury finds Heart Institute missed organ defect", Staff, August 01, 2014

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