High school athlete dies, family files medical malpractice suit

A little over four years ago, an out-of-state teen athlete began complaining of weakness and shortness of breath and was taken to the emergency room. The teen, a 15-year-old high school athlete, received treatment for what was thought to be an asthma attack, after which he was sent home. A short while later, he went into cardiac arrest and died. His family recently filed a medical malpractice suit against the physician who had treated him as well as the hospital that employed the doctor. When Tennessee residents are the victims of medical negligence, they are typically entitled to file a medical malpractice suit against the negligent party or parties.

The physician and the hospital failed the teen, the family's suit claims. If the doctor had performed his responsibilities correctly, he would have discovered the undetected heart condition the teen was actually suffering from. Because the teen had a previous history with asthma, the hospital countered that the physician acted correctly when he concluded that it was, in fact, asthma that was causing the boy's problems.

The teen had become ill while in basketball practice on the evening of Aug. 2, 2011, and he was taken to the hospital, where he received oxygen as well as medication for asthma. He was then released later that night, but, as he complained of weakness, he was wheeled out of the hospital in a wheelchair. The Pennsylvania teen died the next day at his residence; he was only weeks away from beginning his sophomore year in high school.

When patients in Tennessee suffer serious injury or die from the result of a health care professional's negligence, the victims or their families are legally entitled to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit against the responsible party or parties. Successfully navigated, this may result in a monetary judgment for damages sustained, which can help assuage the associated costs typical of these kinds of injuries or deaths. Medical malpractice victims often begin this process by consulting experienced personal injury attorneys in order to assess the validity of their claims.

Source: mcall.com, "Easton Hospital in malpractice trial in death of athlete, 15", Riley Yates, Jan. 27, 2016

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