Warshafsky Law Secures $2.5 Million Settlement in Meningitis Misdiagnosis Lawsuit
Mistaking Meningitis for Flu Leaves Child Permanently Impaired
When Ryan was 4 ½, he took ill. Peter and Susan, the boy’s parents, were concerned and took off work on a Friday to take Ryan to the River Falls Medical Clinic near their home. After being told by the doctor Ryan just had the flu and needed to rest, the parents took their son home and did their best to keep him comfortable over the weekend.
But instead of improving, Ryan’s condition became progressively worse the next day. Peter and Susan called the clinic on Saturday and spoke to both the doctor who saw their son the previous day and another physician on duty. Both assured them it was just a case of the flu and they should see gradual signs of improvement in their son over the weekend.
By Monday morning, though, it was clear something was seriously wrong. They rushed Ryan to the clinic first thing that morning. Alarmed by Ryan’s condition, one of the doctors who had previously seen the boy called in a pediatrician. Ryan was diagnosed with meningitis and immediately transferred by ambulance to a hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he fell into a coma shortly after arriving.
Although Ryan came out of the coma a week later, he was blind, paralyzed on his right side, and unable to speak. Over the course of the next few months, he regained most of his speech and vision. Physical therapy helped him recover some sensation in his right side, but nothing could be done to restore the increasingly apparent loss of cognitive function Ryan suffered as a result of the incident.
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Warshafsky Law Files Personal Injury Lawsuit on Behalf of Young Boy
When Peter and Susan came to Warshafsky Law, we couldn’t help but feel moved by their plight. Here was a young couple who had done everything they could to look after their young son when he fell ill, only to have two doctors drop the ball and cause a life-threatening illness to progress undetected.
With a fast moving bacterial infection like meningitis, time is always of the essence. Had a proper diagnosis been made on their first visit to the clinic, it is likely Ryan could have made a full recovery. Instead, he ended up with significant mental and physical disabilities which would require speech, physical, recreational and occupational therapy the rest of his life.
As our Milwaukee personal injury attorneys do with all cases, we immediately set to work preparing this case for a hearing before a judge and jury. Our willingness to take cases to trial, and even to appeal if necessary, is well-known in Wisconsin legal circles—and bolstered by the fact we literally wrote the definitive book on trial law in Wisconsin: The massive Trial Handbook for Wisconsin Lawyers.
Settlement Reached in Personal Injury Lawsuit over Misdiagnosed Meningitis
A jury began hearing our case, but just two days into the trial attorneys for the opposing side requested a settlement conference. Although Warshafsky Law is the polar opposite of “settlement mill” law firms, we are always willing to hear what the other side proposes. If it is not in the best interests of our clients, we let the attorneys for the opposing side know we’ll be seeing them in court.
In this case, however, we were able to negotiate a $2.5 million settlement, one which would adequately provide for Ryan’s care the rest of his life while sparing his parents the stress of a trial. Per the settlement, $402,175 would go to Ryan’s parents, $1.3 million in trust for Ryan, nearly $102,000 in insurance claims and claims from the Health and Social Services Department, with the balance going toward our legal fees and costs.
Incidentally, the dollar amounts mentioned here would be much higher when adjusted for inflation. For instance, the $1.3 million set aside in trust for Ryan is the equivalent of $2.2 million in today’s dollars.
INJURED? It IS About The Money.®
You’ll often hear people say “it’s not about the money,” as if there is something ignoble about expecting to be financially compensated for one’s injuries. Frankly, as nice as heartfelt apologies are, “sorry” doesn’t pay the massive medical bills typically incurred by many of our clients as the result of someone else’s negligence or careless behavior. Trust us, anyone getting hospital bills for $200,000+ is much more interested in dollars than they are in apologies.
In cases such as Ryan’s, where a young person is going to have costly special needs the rest of his life, it most certainly is about the money. Why should the boy’s parents have to go bankrupt paying for a situation caused by two doctors who failed to make a correct diagnosis? There are dozens of similar examples, like the man who went in for bypass surgery and came out brain damaged due to the hospital’s negligence, or the woman who had her entire kidney removed instead of just the kidney stone doctors were supposed to remove. Many of these cases involve judgments or settlements so punitive as to set legal and moral precedent for entire industries. We call these cases Society Changing Judgments.
Free Initial Consultation and No Payments Until You Are Compensated
Our Milwaukee personal injury attorneys offer a free, no obligation consultation to assess your case and help you better understand the process of filing a personal injury lawsuit in Milwaukee. If you have a strong case, we will represent you with no upfront or ongoing costs whatsoever. Only when your case has been resolved and you have been compensated do we ask for payment.
If you or someone you care about has been injured due to the negligence or carelessness of others, you have every right to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover your medical expenses as well as restitution for time lost from work and the pain and suffering you have experienced. You are going to need an experienced personal injury law firm, though—one with the financial wherewithal, the legal smarts, and the intestinal fortitude to fight for every dollar you have coming to you.
To put it simply, you’re going to need the Milwaukee personal injury attorneys of Warshafsky Law.