Anapol Schwartz attorney Lawrence R. Cohan obtained a $2 million verdict for the estate of a 25-year-old woman who died as a result of pneumonia misdiagnosis shortly after delivering a premature baby girl.
Mary Casiano was six months pregnant when she went to the emergency room with symptoms of pneumonia. The staff discharged her with antibiotics the next day, but she was re-admitted for pneumonia in both lungs two days later. While hospitalized, she was treated for acute respiratory failure and a whole body infection called sepsis. Intubated, she underwent an emergency caesarian-section and gave birth to her daughter, who weighed only two and a half pounds. Casiano then suffered a collapsed lung, and she passed away on July 6, 2009.
The case was contested on negligence and causation. Cohan argued to the jury that negligence occurred during Casiano’s first admission, when the defendants failed to order a chest x-ray to diagnose pneumonia and failed to admit her for treatment and observation.
The defense argued Casiano did not have all the signs of pneumonia, and that they provided sufficient treatment by sending her home with an antibiotic and instructions to return if she had further problems. The defense also claimed Casiano “would have died anyway,” had she been admitted at the outset due to the severity of her condition. Her pain and suffering lasted two days.
“It was particularly rewarding to obtain compensation for these two little girls who will have to grow up without a mother,” said Cohan.
Casiano’s daughters will never get their mother back, but Cohan was able to bring some justice to her and her family. She is survived by two daughters, ages seven and four.
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