When does Chiari Malformation lead to medical malpractice?

Cases of medical malpractice in the US are, unfortunately, quite high. A recent John Hopkins study finds out that around 250,000 people in the US die every year due to medical mistakes – medication overdoses or surgical mistakes. However, what is, as put by the John Hopkins report[1], released in 2016, more common and costly than treatment mistakes is a diagnostic error, which can be missed, wronged, or delayed.

Between 1986 and 2010, the penalty amount relating to diagnosis-related payments soared to $38.8 billion. Understanding the gravity of the situation, many lawyers and medical practitioners think that there is the need to take steps against such malpractices and ensure that justice is served to the victims.

As per PR Newswire story Chiari Malformation Verdict:

“On April 8, 2019 a jury in Queens County New York rendered a unanimous verdict for $5 million in favor of a plaintiff against two radiologists whom plaintiff alleged had failed to report an abnormality on two successive MRI scans of the brain, the first in September 2013 and the second a year later in September 2014. The jury awarded $2 million in past damages and $3 million in future damages.”

As per Wikipedia:

“Chiari malformation (CM) is a structural defect in the cerebellum, characterized by a downward displacement of one or both cerebellar tonsils through the foramen magnum (the opening at the base of the skull). CMs can cause headaches, difficulty swallowing, vomiting, dizziness, neck pain, unsteady gait, poor hand coordination, numbness and tingling of the hands and feet, and speech problems.”

Even though the actual number of deaths occurred due to diagnosis error is difficult to determine mainly because practitioners or coroners rarely mentioned the human errors involved on the death certificate on which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rely on to calculate the number of deaths nationwide, researchers, in 2013, found that annually at least 80,000 to 160,000 patients suffer misdiagnosis-related permanent injury or death.

The actual numbers, however, can extrapolate from past trends. And some studies have found that at least 12 million Americans are misdiagnosed and a half of these cases can cause serious harm[2]. The cases of misdiagnosis are also multifaceted. It also includes the medical defects that doctors fail to diagnose at birth.

Medical malpractice lawyer Jonathan C. Reiter has written an in-depth post that covers we will focus on a medical condition called Chiari Malformation and discuss the various aspects of the condition, including, but not limited to, its causes, symptoms, and treatment. The blog post will provide insights to practicing lawyers as well who are interested to know about different medical conditions so that they can help claimants in an even more efficient manner.