David Young and Mark Messerschmidt obtained a defense verdict for an emergency room physician and his employer in Manatee County in a medical malpractice case after a 2-week trial. The Plaintiff presented to the hospital with reports of flashes and blurriness and disturbances in his peripheral vision of the right eye which had normalized by the time of the exam. The patient reported a return of visual field deficits in the emergency room. There was a significant discrepancy between the parties at that point, with Plaintiff contending that he remained blind in the right periphery from that point until the present while all of the healthcare providers contended that he reported that the vision returned to normal soon thereafter. An ophthalmologist was consulted who concurred with the diagnosis of ocular migraine. The patient returned 3 hours after discharge and was seen again by the same emergency room physician with the exam demonstrating right homonymous hemianopsia.
The Plaintiff alleged a delay in diagnosing the patient’s acute left occipital ischemic stroke and that such delay caused the persistent right-sided peripheral vision loss in both eyes. The survivors included the surviving spouse (claims of loss of parental consortium were removed from jury consideration by way of directed verdict). Plaintiff asked the jury to award more than 4 million dollars in damages. After 5 hours of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict finding the emergency medicine physician not negligent and a full defense verdict in his favor.