Fifty-nine-year-old Jeffrey Schneider suffered a debilitating stroke that took away the use of the right side of his body after his physician failed to diagnose an infection in one of his heart valves. Mr. Schneider has been unable to work since the stroke and suffers short term memory loss in addition to the physical disabilities.
A jury agreed with Schneider and his wife's claim that medical negligence was to blame for his life-altering injuries and awarded the couple $6.4 million. In 1996, Mr. Schneider was diagnosed by his physician as having a mitral valve prolapse. After 2001, this condition essentially fell off his treating physician's radar and did not come up again even after Mr. Schneider complained that was suffering symptoms that he assumed felt like he was dying in April of 2007.
Instead, the doctor referred Mr. Schneider to specialists other than a cardiologist to get to the bottom of his symptoms. As she watched her husband deteriorate, Mrs. Schneider requested that the doctor admit him to the hospital for treatment in May 2007, to which the doctor insisted they wait longer on blood test results.
The undiagnosed infection resulted in a stroke in early June. Finally, the Schneider's found out what had been ailing Mr. Schneider all this time. Unfortunately, his doctor's failure to diagnose the infection in a timely manner has permanently changed his life.
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Maryland Heights couple win $6.4 million medical malpractice verdict," July 9, 2013