Suit was brought on behalf of a 13-year-old girl for failure to diagnose and treat a shunt malfunction.
The child was experiencing severe headaches and neck pain and over the course of several weeks was brought to the pediatrician's office and the ER on several occasions by her mother, but her condition worsened. The defendants diagnosed her with a sinus infection. Her parents eventually took her to a different ER at a major teaching hospital where she was admitted for emergency shunt revision. Despite three surgeries to relieve pressure on her brain stem, the patient did not improve, and after several days of intensive care her parents elected to withdraw life support.
The defendants denied any negligence. However, plaintiff's counsel obtained one of the defendant's handwritten notes, which confirmed that he failed to make the correct diagnosis which then led to a critical delay in treatment.