New York Personal Injury Lawyers

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Life Threatening Injuries

A 42-year-old firefighter, who had previously run over 30 marathons, cut his leg while fighting a fire. He went to the Fire Department Medical Clinic and then to Bellevue Hospital for treatment. He was given antibiotics, stitched and released. Ordinarily, this should have been the end to the story. However, due to a failure by the Fire Department Medical Clinic to inform Owen S. or the Bellevue staff that several years earlier they discovered that he had a heart murmur, his minor wound became life threatening. Because Owen had an open wound, he had to be given antibiotics to prevent infection in and around his heart. Since this was not done, he sustained subacute endocarditis, which caused bacteria to grow inside his aorta, ultimately causing him to be completely disabled from the fire department and unable to perform any strenuous activity. Thirteen doctors and experts, some Fire Department staff, testified in this case over four weeks but the jury needed little more than an hour to decide in Owen’s favor.