Posted by Gary Burger on August 22, 2016
We represent the family of Timothy Frymire in a wrongful death and medical malpractice action against a general medical practice in Wayne County, Missouri. Tim was a wonderful young man who died on August 1, 2013 at the age of 20. He had been to his doctor’s office 7 hours before his death. He had also been there 6 days before. In both of these visits, he complained of headaches. He died from complications of a brain tumor.
We alleged the nurse practitioners did not assess his headache, do a neurologic exam, do a fundoscopic exam, or assess the reason for Tim’s headaches. They inaccurately diagnosed him with allergies and gave him allergy medication. In truth, Tim’s headaches were caused by a brain tumor. The coroner (whom we deposed) found the tumor in the front left lobe of Tim’s brain which caused his brain to shift and caused swelling or encephalopathy. The tumor also closed a ventricle (which drains spinal fluid from the head).
The type of tumor Tim had is sometimes called a ‘silent killer’ as it does not manifest significant symptoms until it’s too late. However, Tim did have headaches, communicated that to his family members and went to his family doctor twice for his headaches, including the day he died.
I filed medical malpractice, lost change of survival, and wrongful death claims. We obtained the opinion of both a nurse practitioner and a doctor that Tim’s medical providers were negligent, caused Tim’s death and decreased his chance of survival from the tumor. We hired a neurosurgeon who testified that Tim was salvageable even towards the end.
We think the medical providers should have given Tim a neuro exam and sent him for a CT or MRI of his head. There was a CT machine about 40 minutes away. Such a study would have shown edema and swelling in his brain as well as the tumor. This would have warranted rapid use of drugs or a stent to decrease the pressure in head and most likely surgical intervention to remove the brain tumor. Unfortunately this never occurred.
We produced family members for depositions, produced our medical experts for depositions and I deposed the Defendants in this case. We did a lot of work to prove our case, show necessary tests were not done and prove Tim’s misdiagnosis.
In any wrongful death case the settlement has to be approved by the court and we did so. medical malpractice settlement approved.