SC Heart Clinic Failed to Inform Patient of Health Issues, Loses Wrongful Death Lawsuit
A Richland County jury ruled in a wrongful death lawsuit that a local heart clinic was grossly negligent when it failed to warn a patient about his potential cardiac condition, and that the lack of knowledge contributed to the patient’s subsequent death from heart failure.
Although the jury in Wayne Reynold’s wrongful death lawsuit stated that they believed the patient was 25% responsible for his death due to lifestyle choices, the main cause was lack of knowledge of a serious condition – they stated that, if the 66-year-old Reynolds had known about his heart problem in advance, he would have been more cognizant of signs of a heart attack when he began to suffer one.
Because the wrongful death case’s jury decided that Reynolds was partially responsible for his heart attack death, including a long history of smoking, so they cut down the $2 million verdict to $1.5 million.
The heart clinic – the South Carolina Heart Center – argued that Reynolds should have tried harder to obtain the results from his most recent cardiac stress test. It was not the first stress test he’d had, so he was aware that there was a potential for heart complications, the clinic responded.
“The South Carolina Heart Center P.A. has long been dedicated to providing the finest cardiovascular care to the citizens of South Carolina,” an attorney for the clinic said regarding the wrongful death case. “The dedicated doctors and staff have an exemplary record of excellence in treatment. Although we cannot comment on the specific actions that will be taken by our legal counsel in seeking a review of this verdict for fairness, we express our sympathy to the patient’s family over their loss, and our confidence in the legal system.”
On October 31st, 2011, Reynolds was given a stress test by a cardiologist at the clinic. The results, according to testimony during the wrongful death trial, suggested serious coronary heart disease which would require immediate treatment. However, the clinic did not call Reynolds with the test results, even though they were serious, because Reynolds was responsible for contacting them.
Several days later, according to Reynolds’s surviving family, he began to suffer pains that were symptomatic of a heart attack. However, without knowledge of the severity of the issue he faced, he ignored the symptoms. On November 8th, he finally went to the emergency room, where he was diagnosed with having suffered a heart attack, and doctors found that 95% of three of his major heart arteries were blocked. He died the next day in the hospital due to complications.
“Had he been informed of the condition of his heart, Mr. Reynolds most probably would have recognized the symptoms of a developing cardiac event and would therefore have immediately sought medical attention, which most probably would have saved his life,” wrote Dr. Robert Stark, an expert witness for the plaintiff, in an affidavit.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Wrongful Death or Personal Injury Lawsuits
If you or a loved one have suffered, or a loved one has died, due to medical gross negligence or failure to warn, you may have a personal injury or wrongful death case. The South Carolina medical malpractice, personal injury, and wrongful death attorneys at the Strom Law Firm understand that you have suffered enough. We offer free case evaluations to discuss the events leading up to your injury or loved one’s death, so contact us today for help. 803.252.4800