Following a two-week trial before a Baltimore medical malpractice jury, and after two hours of deliberations, the jury returned its verdict saying that the health care providers misdiagnosed his Lyme disease and failed to timely treat his Lyme disease, allowing the severity of his Lyme disease to progress to Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (“PTLDS”) that is associated with long-term complaints of pain, stiffness, fatigue, and cognitive issues following treatment…medicalmalpracticelawyers.com, $792,000 Baltimore Medical Malpractice Verdict For Failure To Timely Diagnose Lyme Disease
The man had gone to Patient First because he had a rash in his underarm area that was red, flat, oval, and inflamed. He was seen by a Physician Assistant (“PA”) who diagnosed the man’s condition as cellulitis. He returned to Patient First 24 days later, after he developed swelling in his lips and pain and discomfort in his face.
During the second Patient First visit, he saw the same PA who treated him during his first visit. The PA at the second visit diagnosed the man as suffering from an allergic reaction to a new type of soda.
The man returned for a third Patient First visit when he began having headaches along with left-sided numbness and drooping of his face on the left side. At this visit, the man was seen by a physician who diagnosed him as having Bell’s Palsy and who sent him to the Emergency Department (“ED”) of a local hospital.
Testing ordered through the ED determined that he had a positive Lyme disease test for which he was prescribed ten days of oral doxycycline. The man then went to the Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Research Center when the doxycycline did not appear to be helping with his symptoms. He was admitted to the hospital where he was formally diagnosed with central nervous system Lyme disease. A positive lumbar puncture revealed that he was suffering from Lyme meningitis. As a result, he was put on home IV antibiotics through a PICC line for four weeks. However, the treatment apparently was too late to prevent him from developing PTLDS.
The defense argued to the jury that the man’s rash was not the classic bulls-eye rash associated with Lyme disease (most rashes due to Lyme disease are not bulls-eye rashes) and that the man was negligent for failing to return to Patient First two days after his initial visit.
The Maryland medical malpractice jury rejected the defenses and found in favor of the man. The $792, 000 verdict was for pain and suffering (noneconomic damages only).