Practice Area: Medical Malpractice
Outcome: Settled at Trial for $970,000
Description: A fifty year-old man went to his internist seeking assistance in losing weight. The internist put him on phentermine, a weight loss drug to be used for no more than eight weeks. The physician kept the patient on the drug for two years and failed to monitor his cardiac, circulatory or pulmonary functions despite warnings that this drug could affect those functions. The patient grew ill due to pulmonary hypertension and right ventricular heart failure and returned to see his physician. The covering physician failed to order even basic tests and failed to detect these life-threatening disorders. As a result, the patient’s condition worsened until taken to the hospital where he suffered complete pulmonary failure and nearly died. Under the treatment of new physicians, the patient has recovered. The defense in the medical malpractice case tried to blame the patient and the matter went to trial. Ms. Schlitt built her case against both doctors, demonstrating that basic tests and examinations would have detected and prevented the patient’s near fatal condition. The defense opted to settle before jury deliberations. The defending physicians paid a combined $970,000.