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She told them she was sick! Should we contact an attorney?

Jacksonville, FL |

My girlfriend has suffered from the same symptoms (all of which impact her quality of life) for almost 15 years. During that time, she sought medical attention as often as once a month and was told by almost every doctor she saw that it was "all in her head" and wasn't sick. The few that didn't think she was lying about how bad she felt suggested that she exercise more, "to improve her stamina."

She recently went to my Primary Care Physician who diagnosed her with chronic, severe asthma in his office (based on a simple test which no other doctor has done) and began treatment immediately (which is working wonders for her).

My question is: Should she contact an attorney to file a malpractice suit against the dozen or so doctors who all told her that she was imagining her symptoms?

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Attorney answers 4

Best Answer

The answer to your question will be determined with accuracy only after a review of her medical records because there are many details that are important to consider. I would encourage her to find out if her treating physician thinks there has been a significant worsening of her condition due to the delay. And, I would encourage her to contact a medical malpractice attorney to review the information and see whether she has a viable claim that is worth pursing economically. As there is a time deadline to filing suit, she should contact an attorney in FL immediately. Good luck.


One of the primary considerations in deciding whether to institute a medical malpractice action is to consider what damages the alleged malpractice caused to the patient. Because these cases are extraordinarily expensive to pursue, experienced medical malpractice lawyers will generally advise against bringing an action that does not have significant damages and permanent consequences. This is because the cost of the experts will be more than your potential recovery in small damage cases.

Has the PCP determined that the delay in diagnosing your girlfriend excerbated an asthmatic condition that would have been more manageable with an earlier diagnosis and treatment? Will this lead to a permanent problem for her in the future? From your comments, it seems like she will be fine now. It might be worth it to contact those previous physicians and inform them of this diagnosis to help prevent future such acts to others.

You may also run into a problem with the Statute of Limitations. Many states have what is called a Statute of Repose. This law states that a claim for malpractice may not be brought after a certain period (like 3 years from the date of the malpractice in Louisiana) regardless of whether you could have or did know of the malpractice.


All of the above advice is very good. I suggest you read the seciton in my website on medical malpractice to understand what it all entails. See


You're going to have a challenge not only proving causation & damages, but also overcoming the statute of limitations defense, which limits the amount of time you have to bring a particular claim. It would not hurt to contact a local attorney in your area experienced in these issues.

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