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Federal Jury Awards Over $18 Million to HIV Patient in Medical Malpractice Claim

Diagnosing HIV is in its early stages is critical to ensure the disease does not progress. If you or a loved one has been injured due to a missed or delayed HIV diagnosis, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, we are dedicated to holding medical professionals accountable for their negligent conduct.

Last month, a federal jury in Boston awarded $18.4 million in damages to a man who claimed that two of his former doctors did not test him for HIV, despite risk factors that made him more vulnerable to contracting the disease. S.S., age 48, argued that being gay and previously working as a paramedic made him particularly vulnerable to the disease.

Despite S.S.’s explicit consent to an HIV test in 2007, his treating physicians failed to perform one. Approximately three years later, another physician ordered the test and the results came back positive. By that time, the man’s disease had progressed to AIDs, resulting in him suffering brain damage and ending his career prematurely.

At the end of trial, a jury concluded that the patient’s neurologist and internist, who both failed to test him for HIV, were negligent in caring for S.S. and, thus, had committed malpractice. The jury also found that a third doctor was negligent. However, that doctor’s negligence did not harm the patient.

While this case involves a Boston patient, HIV malpractice is also a problem in New York. For individuals who are not properly diagnosed with HIV, the results can be devastating, even deadly. If you or someone close to you suffered harm due to a misdiagnosis of HIV, you may be able to file a medical malpractice claim against the at-fault party. Under New York law, medical malpractice occurs when a medical provider breaches or violates the standard of care, which then directly results in an injury to the patient. For example, in the case at hand, had Stentiford’s HIV been caught, it would not have progressed to AIDS – the most serious stage of the HIV infection.

In order to establish a medical malpractice claim, the plaintiff must prove the following elements:

  • The medical professional owed a duty to the patient, which is inherent in the doctor-patient relationship;
  • The medical professional breached the duty of care owed to the patient;
  • The medical professional’s breach was a proximate cause of the patient’s harm; and
  • The patient suffered actual damages (i.e., some type of quantifiable harm) as a result.

A large number of medical malpractice suits stem from a delayed diagnosis or failure to diagnose a disease such as HIV. If this has happened to you or someone close to you, you need to reach out to a skilled Rochester diagnosis error attorney who can help. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, we are dedicated to advocating for the rights of patients every step of the way. For a free case evaluation, call us today at 315-479-9000 or contact us online.

More Blog Posts:

Medical Malpractice in Buttocks Augmentation Cases, Rochester Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Blog, June 29, 2018

Malpractice Caps Have Led to Doctors Ordering Fewer Invasive Tests,  Rochester Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Blog, June 22, 2018

Organ Puncture or Perforation Caused by New York Medical Malpractice, Rochester Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Blog, June 15, 2018

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