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Jury awards $29 million to victim of delayed diagnosis

North Carolina patients who have struggled to get medical professionals to heed their complaints could find the experience of one family disturbingly familiar. A woman experiencing severe fatigue, fainting and shaking had her symptoms dismissed as anxiety and depression by a physician. Although the woman's mother asked for neurological testing, the physician refused for five months until the woman's symptoms worsened significantly. She was ultimately diagnosed with Wilson's Disease that could have been treated in the early stage, but she is now left unable to walk and taking nutrition through a feeding tube for the rest of her life.

The clinic named in the lawsuit refused to acknowledge any wrongdoing, but the jury sided with the family and awarded a verdict of $29 million in damages. Most of the sum will support the lifelong nursing care that the victim will require.

The physician who refused diagnostic testing for the patient despite a severely worsening condition was ultimately dismissed from the lawsuit. Clinic administrators insisted in a public statement that its employees met their duty to provide adequate care, but the jury obviously came to a different conclusion.

A person harmed by a failure to diagnose a condition could discuss the possibility of filing a lawsuit with an attorney. Medical malpractice cases must meet high legal standards to proceed to court, and an attorney could evaluate the strength of the case. To build the case, an attorney could gather testimony from an independent medical expert to show that the medical provider did not meet accepted standards of care.

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Daniel Pleasant Holoman LLP

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