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Failure to diagnose pertussis leads to $4M malpractice award

| May 24, 2018 | Medical Malpractice

A woman in another state claimed in 2016 that doctors did not correctly assess her baby’s health condition. Their alleged failure to diagnose the baby’s pertussis — a mistake that can easily impact patients in West Virginia and elsewhere as well — ultimately led to her death. After filing a medical malpractice claim against their medical practice, the woman recently received an award of $4 million for her child’s death.

A jury agreed with the woman that the doctors should have diagnosed and quickly treated the baby’s pertussis-related complications. Pertussis is a common medical problem that affects children and also goes by the name of whooping cough. In her civil complaint, the woman contended that she had asked physicians at several visits to test her baby, as she had also been experiencing similar symptoms. However, her requests were ignored.

Unfortunately, the baby ended up dying at 32 days old. The woman’s $4 million award came eight years following her daughter’s death. An attorney with the physician practice that lost the suit said that the doctors planned to appeal the verdict.

Sometimes, doctors in West Virginia fail to exercise a reasonable standard of care when caring for patients. In situations involving the failure to diagnose an illness or other forms of medical negligence, patients can easily lose their lives. If this happens, the patients’ surviving loved ones have the right to file medical malpractice claims against the reportedly at-fault medical care providers, seeking damages. A successfully fought lawsuit may lead to a financial award that might help with addressing funeral expenses and other losses stemming from a documented medical malpractice incident.

Source:, “Central Pa. mom gets $4M in medical malpractice suit for baby’s death“, Candy Woodall, May 17, 2018