December 22, 2015, PNLR E-Newsletter
Failure to diagnose cervical epidural abscess
The plaintiffs alleged that a hospital, radiologist, and neurologist were liable for failing to diagnose and treat the abscess, which left the patient paralyzed. The jury awarded about $12.52 million. Del Grosso v. Del. Cnty. Mem’l Hosp.
Kenneth Del Grosso, who was in his early 50s, was admitted to Delaware County Memorial Hospital, complaining of left-sided neck pain radiating down his left arm. After undergoing tests for a suspected heart issue, Del Grosso began to develop neurological symptoms, such as the inability to walk. He also developed a fever and could not urinate. He underwent an MRI, which radiologist Ben-Zion Friedman interpreted as normal. Neurologist Hussam Yacoub then diagnosed Del Grosso as having meningitis, for which he was administered antibiotics.
Del Grosso’s neurological condition continued to deteriorate, and he was transferred to another facility. By this time, however, he had become paralyzed. A truck driver who had earned about $35,000 annually, he is no longer able to work.
Del Grosso and his wife sued the hospital, Friedman, and Yacoub, alleging failure to diagnose and treat a cervical epidural abscess at C5.
The jury awarded about $12.52 million, apportioning liability at 67 percent to Friedman and 33 percent to Yacoub.
Citation: Del Grosso v. Del. Cnty. Mem’l Hosp., No. 2013-05338 (Pa. Ct. Com. Pleas Del. Cnty. Aug. 7, 2015).
Plaintiff counsel: AAJ members A. Roy DeCaro and Regina M. Foley, both of Philadelphia.