Hialeah Widow Settles Lawsuit Against Doctor Who Misdiagnosed Her Husband’s Fatal Heart Attack for $362,500.00
Case points out holes in the healthcare system and sends strong message to everyone it’s OK to question their doctor
WESTON, FL — The settlement of a medical malpractice case on behalf of the widow of a Hialeah man reveals the medical system we all rely on can have serious and sometimes life-threatening holes and flaws, according to the prevailing attorney, Roy Oppenheim, a partner in Oppenheim Pilelsky, P.A. a Weston, Florida-based law firm.
“This was an unfortunate case that involved not only misdiagnosis by the physician, but also a lack of follow-up care, lack of communication, failure to make an appropriate referral, and dismissal of the patient’s complaints,” said Oppenheim. “The settlement against the physician and the medical clinic should be a warning to others that physicians are not infallible and that each patient has an absolute right to ask questions and express concerns,” he said.
The case involved treatment by Dr. Jesus Escar and Qualmed of Florida. In 2000, the man visited Dr. Escar at Qualmed of Florida, a healthcare facility in Miami-Dade, complaining of chest pain and discomfort radiating into his shoulder. The man was known to Dr. Escar and to the clinic as having high blood pressure. During an examination, an EKG was interpreted as abnormal. There was no cardiac referral made and no instructions given concerning what to do in case this was a cardiac event. The victim was simply given prescriptions for his blood pressure and heartburn and was sent home. When he and his widow tried to explain to Dr. Escar that the symptoms, particularly the shoulder pain, did not seem to them to be consistent with heartburn, their statements were completely dismissed by Dr. Escar who stated, “I’m the doctor.” The patient suffered a fatal heart attack within 72 hours.
Unfortunately for the patient, it was also July 4th weekend. “The prescription written by Dr. Escar could not be filled because the dosage was not recognizable to the pharmacist,” said Boca Raton attorney Andrew Smith of Carman & Smith, P.A., who co-counseled the case with Oppenheim. “Both the pharmacy and the victim called the doctor’s office, but due to the 4th of July weekend, the calls were not returned and the prescriptions went unfilled, further compounding the problem,” Smith said.
“This case should send a strong message to the public that it is entirely appropriate and well within a patient’s rights to question a doctor’s diagnosis and to not merely be a passive, often intimidated participant in the process,” said Oppenheim. “Doctors need to listen to their patients’ concerns and must be available for follow-up. Had my client’s husband’s concerns been taken seriously, and he received his medication in a timely manner, and had Dr. Escar been available when needed, he would probably be alive today,” he said. The case was settled in mediation for $362, 500.00.
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Roy Oppenheim is a partner in Oppenheim Pilelsky, the most established law firm in Weston, Florida, along with his wife Ellen Pilelsky. Oppenheim Pilelsky is a general practice concentrating real estate, personal injury, medical malpractice, and consumer related matters. The firm sued Firestone Tire & Rubber Company on behalf of all Florida residents who have been subject to the recall of defective tires. Oppenheim Pilelsky is located at: 1290 Weston Road, Suite 300, Weston, FL 33326 (954) 384-6114 or 1-888-384-6114. Oppenheim Pilelsky can also be found at www.oppenheimlaw.com and www.westontitle.com.
Contact: Todd Templin, or Julie Silver at Boardroom Communications, 954-370-8999, for Oppenheim Pilelsky.