Death from Stroke after Inadequate Anticoagulation: $6.6 Million Verdict 

Jury returns verdict for the plaintiff on both negligence and informed consent counts

2024 Medical Malpractice Trial Report
By William J. Thompson, Attorney 
Middlesex Superior Court 

The plaintiff's decedent was 57 years old when she died in October, 2014, three days after she suffered a stroke. She left a husband and two adult children. 

She had a longstanding phobia of doctors and consequently had not been to a doctor in years when she was brought to the Melrose Wakefield Emergency Department with shortness of breath and flu-like symptoms. She was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, uncontrolled diabetes, uncontrolled hypertension, and atrial fibrillation. For the A-fib, she was appropriately started on Lovenox to prevent clot formation and decrease her risk of stroke. After two days, she developed acute kidney injury which required the Lovenox be stopped. 

The plaintiff claimed that the patient should have then been started on IV Heparin. The defendant contended that SQ Heparin and aspirin was sufficient, given the lingering effects of Lovenox and because a cardiac catheterization was planned to proceed in a day or two. The defendant also claimed the patient herself declined IV Heparin given the risk of bleeding. 

Two days after the Lovenox was stopped, the patient suffered an ischemic stroke. She was transferred to a Boston hospital where she received maximum treatment, however she could not be saved. 

The case was tried to a jury of 12 over six days, and the jury deliberated for 11 hours over three days before returning a verdict for the plaintiff on both the negligence and informed consent counts. 

The jury awarded nothing for conscious pain and suffering (insufficient evidence of consciousness), and $1.4 million to her husband and $1 million each to her two children for their loss of relationship claims under the wrongful death statue. With interest, the judgment totaled over $6.6 million.

Lubin & Meyer attorneys Andrew C. Meyer, Jr. and William J. Thompson represented the plaintiff in this medical malpractice lawsuit.    

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