SPBMC trial attorney James Wilkens recently obtained a significant settlement in medical malpractice suit. The case involved a man who was widowed with two children on the autism spectrum when his wife died suddenly on June 15, 2015. Plaintiff ultimately received a $3.3 million settlement.
Lawsuit Helps Protect Vulnerable Family that Lost a Wife and Mother
The father of two children on the autistic spectrum became a widower when his wife, Christine, died suddenly overnight in 2015. Christine’s doctor told her husband that he was surprised she died and that the cause of her death was from pneumonia. The husband asked attorney James Wilkens to get involved, and Mr. Wilkens’ investigation showed that Christine died not from pneumonia, but from congestive heart failure. Ultimately, the Medical Examiner’s report showed her death to be from cardiac failure, and not pneumonia as Christine’s doctor had originally claimed.
During the litigation, Christine’s doctor acknowledged that, while he was treating Christine, she was exhibiting symptoms that made evaluation for cardiac problems mandatory. However, he did not take those steps. Investigation also showed that Christine’s cardiologist performed a stress test on her that was abnormal and required further evaluations that were not completed.
“The medical professionals involved in the care and treatment of Christine made several errors and omissions that ultimately led to a tragic and preventable loss. Her doctor should have recommended an EKG be performed due to her symptoms, but this essential step was not conducted,” attorney James Wilkens said of the case.
The Defendants Offered a Settlement of $3.3 Million After Four Years of Contested Litigation
Ultimately, on the eve of trial, Mr. Staszak accepted a settlement package of more than $3 million. The settlement was an acknowledgement by the doctor that a proper differential diagnosis would have been required to rule out a cardiac issue and that he never completed one.
Christine’s husband, who had a successful job working in the finance industry, had to halt his career in order to care for and support his two sons with autism. A dedicated father, he now referees for county sports teams in order to spend more quality time with his sons.
“Although no amount of money can replace a wife and mother, this settlement will go a long way in providing security and services that this terrific family sorely needs. I am relieved that we were able to reach a successful outcome for this man, who is a shining example of a devoted husband and father,” said Mr. Wilkens.
To learn more about SPBMC attorney James Wilkens and other significant cases he has litigated, click here.