Christopher Denton, 37, experienced sudden and severe chest pain. He was rushed to a hospital and then transferred to another facility, where cardiologist Edward Chu performed a cardiac catheterization. Chu reported that Denton’s arteries were free of disease, diagnosed a virus, and prescribed over-the-counter medication. Denton’s chest pain continued, however, and he suffered a heart attack about three months later. Subsequent testing revealed that the catheterization test Chu had performed showed a 70-percent blockage in one of Denton’s main heart arteries.
As a result of the heart attack, Denton required seven additional cardiac procedures, including bypass surgery. He will also likely require a future heart transplant and has a reduced life expectancy.
Denton sued Chu, alleging he failed to timely diagnose and treat coronary artery disease. Suit did not claim lost income.
The jury awarded $25 million plus about $4.5 million in interest.
Citation: Denton v. Chu, No. CL12-94 (Va., Hampton City Cir. Feb. 14, 2013).
Plaintiff counsel: AAJ members Jason W. Konvicka and Malcolm P. McConnell III, both of Richmond, Va.