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Jury Awards $3 Million for Delay in Treating Infection Leading to Brain Damage

A jury in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania awarded Lynn and James Flaherty a total of $3 million in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Lynn Flaherty was treated for severe headaches by her physician, who prescribed only pain medications. The physician never prescribed any antibiotics for the sinus infection that was actually causing the headaches. Because the infection went untreated, it progressed and went into Ms. Flaherty’s brain causing a brain abscess. The brain abscess required surgery and resulted in serious neurological problems, including interfering with Mrs. Flaherty’s ability to reason, as well as emotional and behavioral disorders. Additionally, Ms. Flaherty, who is only 61, can no longer work as a real estate agent.

The trial lasted eight days in Allegheny County and the $3 million award must serve to fully compensate Mr. and Mrs Flaherty for the permanent brain injury, which will last her lifetime. A Physician’s Assistant (P.A.) and two physicians were all found to be negligent. Part of the award was for Mr. Flaherty’s loss of consortium, which is his marital relationship. This is a very large verdict for Allegheny County and represents and excetpional result for this family.

This case is a typical one concerning complications that can arise from a delay in properly treating an infection. In this case a common and easily treatable infection, sinusitis, was allowed to go untreated and resulted in a devastating brain abscess. I have personally represented clients who have had improperly treated infections that then progress to a brain abscess, including one case that resulted in a $5.5 million settlement in Philadelphia. If you or someone you know has had serious complications from an infection, you should immediately consult an experienced attorney to have the potential case evaluated.

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