Final Verdict: Initial Diagnosis Correct

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Final Verdict: Initial Diagnosis Correct

Medical malpractice cases are almost always complex and require an experienced attorney with the right experts and a thorough understanding of the law surrounding these kinds of incidents. A medical mistake alone does not mean that the patient will succeed; an attorney must show that the medical mistake was preventable and that it directly caused some adverse impact for the patient. Additionally, the adverse impact must be significant; if it is a minor case, the recoverable damages might not be enough to pay for the cost of proving the malpractice.Final Verdict: Initial Diagnosis Correct

Some of the most egregious instances of medical malpractice occur when a patient presents with severe symptoms requiring immediate treatment, but the medical provider or facility fails to recognize it. Because certain conditions have a limited window within which treatment is successful, failing to identify it immediately can mean the difference between life and death.

However, not all such cases are as clear as they seem. Michael S. Mitchell, a 50-year-old man from Wise County, Virginia, checked himself into the emergency room at Mountain View Regional Medical Center in Norton, Virginia on the afternoon of September 17, 2009. Michael told the staff he was believed he was having a stroke, due to headache, weakness, and difficulty speaking. Dr. Jack Cox examined Michael and ordered a CT scan before diagnosing Michael with a migraine headache and prescribing Imitrex.

The next morning, Michael returned, stating he felt much worse. This time, another CT scan revealed that Michael had suffered an ischemic stroke. The Mayo Clinic explains the impact of an ischemic stroke:

About 80 percent of strokes are ischemic strokes. Ischemic strokes occur when the arteries to your brain become narrowed or blocked, causing severely reduced blood flow (ischemia). A thrombotic stroke occurs when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one of the arteries that supply blood to your brain. A clot may be caused by fatty deposits (plaque) that build up in arteries and cause reduced blood flow (atherosclerosis) or other artery conditions.

Michael was immediately transferred to the Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tennessee for specialized care in conjunction with the stroke. He received a blood thinner treatment, but suffered a deep vein thrombosis and an intracranial hemorrhage, or bleeding on the brain. Despite receiving emergency surgery, Michael ended up with permanent neurological injuries, including difficulty walking and talking, and will require permanent assistance with his activities of daily life.

For Michael, and Michael’s medical malpractice attorney, the case seemed simple. It appeared clear that he had been experiencing the beginnings of a stroke from the very beginning, since the CT scan confirmed it at the second visit. They sued, arguing that Dr. Cox should have immediately administered tPA to protect Michael’s brain.

The trial took eight days. During it, Dr. Cox’s experts argued that because Michael improved after receiving Imitrex, the original diagnosis was most likely correct, and tPA would not have been indicated due to its strong side effects. They also argued that tPA was not intended for preventative care, but only for an ongoing stroke. The jury found their argument convincing, and found a verdict of no medical malpractice after three hours of deliberation.

Medical malpractice cases are almost always complex and require an experienced attorney with the right experts and a thorough understanding of the law surrounding these kinds of incidents. A medical mistake alone does not mean that the patient will succeed; an attorney must show that the medical mistake was preventable and that it directly caused some adverse impact for the patient. Additionally, the adverse impact must be significant; if it is a minor case, the recoverable damages might not be enough to pay for the cost of proving the malpractice.

Some of the most egregious instances of medical malpractice occur when a patient presents with severe symptoms requiring immediate treatment, but the medical provider or facility fails to recognize it. Because certain conditions have a limited window within which treatment is successful, failing to identify it immediately can mean the difference between life and death.Cohen & Cohen

However, not all such cases are as clear as they seem. Michael S. Mitchell, a 50-year-old man from Wise County, Virginia, checked himself into the emergency room at Mountain View Regional Medical Center in Norton, Virginia on the afternoon of September 17, 2009. Michael told the staff he was believed he was having a stroke, due to headache, weakness, and difficulty speaking. Dr. Jack Cox examined Michael and ordered a CT scan before diagnosing Michael with a migraine headache and prescribing Imitrex.

The next morning, Michael returned, stating he felt much worse. This time, another CT scan revealed that Michael had suffered an ischemic stroke. The Mayo Clinic explains the impact of an ischemic stroke:

About 80 percent of strokes are ischemic strokes. Ischemic strokes occur when the arteries to your brain become narrowed or blocked, causing severely reduced blood flow (ischemia). A thrombotic stroke occurs when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one of the arteries that supply blood to your brain. A clot may be caused by fatty deposits (plaque) that build up in arteries and cause reduced blood flow (atherosclerosis) or other artery conditions.

Michael was immediately transferred to the Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tennessee for specialized care in conjunction with the stroke. He received a blood thinner treatment, but suffered a deep vein thrombosis and an intracranial hemorrhage, or bleeding on the brain. Despite receiving emergency surgery, Michael ended up with permanent neurological injuries, including difficulty walking and talking, and will require permanent assistance with his activities of daily life.

For Michael, and Michael’s medical malpractice attorney, the case seemed simple. It appeared clear that he had been experiencing the beginnings of a stroke from the very beginning, since the CT scan confirmed it at the second visit. They sued, arguing that Dr. Cox should have immediately administered tPA to protect Michael’s brain.

The trial took eight days. During it, Dr. Cox’s experts argued that because Michael improved after receiving Imitrex, the original diagnosis was most likely correct, and tPA would not have been indicated due to its strong side effects. They also argued that tPA was not intended for preventative care, but only for an ongoing stroke. The jury found their argument convincing, and found a verdict of no medical malpractice after three hours of deliberation.

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L Proctor
August 30, 2022.
My experience with Cohen &Cohen was beyond my expectations. Jill did an amazing job with negotiating on my behalf and got me way more money than I anticipated. Thank you for having my back.
Ebony Stoutmiles
June 23, 2022.
To say that I am happy with the outcome of my case is the understatement of the century! Jill Stanley is a BEAST at what she does. That is the only way to explain it. She takes no prisoners. She and her team are very skilled and knowledgeable. I am so happy I trusted them to do their job and rolled with Jill's suggestions. I would choose Jill again 100 times. She settled my case for more than I imagined I would receive. I was literally in tears. It is the best feeling to know my pain isn't for naught. Wayne Cohen and Kristopher Yorke were nothing short of amazing. They have the patience of saints. I'm 100% certain that I got on their last nerves with my frustration and tears at every other call I had with them. Being in pain and wanting to just be able to heal was all I could focus on, but they helped me realize that I also had to focus on the bigger picture (the case) so I could put this piece behind me. As a high-strung individual with anxiety, it was hard for me to not worry and let them do their jobs, but they reassured me all of the time that they had this. To be injured before the start of the pandemic and have to receive regular, weekly treatment while others are able to stay home is anxiety inducing. I was in pain, I was anxious, and I was just hoping it all worked out. It more than worked out. I hope Jill, Siri, and Kris know how much their hard work and "hanging in there" meant to me. I am eternally grateful. I can't recommend you all enough. If you choose this law firm, you won't be sorry!
Beloved Temple
June 3, 2022.
I was very pleased with the handling of my case and settlement with Cohen& Cohen. I appreciate them, would highly recommend them.
willie howell
May 25, 2022.
COHEN & COHEN ARE THE BEST I WAS INVOLVED IN A REAR END CAR CRASH AND 2 YEARS LATER I HAVE RECEIVED MY SETTLEMENT I AM VERY EXCITED TO SAY BRYAN!!! IS THE MAN HE INSURED THEY WILL TAKE CARE OF ME AND THEY DID 100% ANY QUESTIONS I ASKED THEY WERE ANSWERED. Jill and SIRI WAS ALSO REMARKABLE AND SHOWED THEY REALLY CARED I RECOMMEND COHEN &COHEN TO ANYONE THEY ALSO MADE SURE I GOT MORE THAN EXPECTED WHICH WAS AMAZING I APPRECIATE YOU GUYS THANK U💯
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May 25, 2022.
The legal team at cohen & cohen did a great job I really appreciate the hard work on gating my compensation in a fair amount of time. Special thanks to Kris for a wonderful job
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May 25, 2022.
I had a great experience with the team at Cohen & Cohen. From my intake attorney, Adam, to the paralegal, Bryan, who worked with me regularly for months to document and prepare my case, to Jill, the attorney who secured my settlement, I feel fortunate to have had their representation and expertise on my side.
Cameron Galloway (HustleDaGod)
May 19, 2022.
Kris was phenomenal. Spectacular communication & knowledge in regards to my case. Would definitely return if I needed more legal services. 100% definitely recommend.

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