An Iowa man whose life-threatening case of bacterial meningitis was dismissed as just the flu by doctors won a $27 million court verdict over the botched diagnosis, which left him brain damaged, a report said.
The Polk County jury found in favor of Joseph Dudley and wife Sarah Dudley in their 2017 case against the UnityPoint Clinic Family Medicine in Des Moines, which was accused of failing to properly detect his serious ailment, according to a report by ABC News.
“Mr. Dudley will suffer from a lifetime of permanent brain damage because they failed to perform a simple blood test, a complete blood count,” the couple’s lawyer Nick Rowley said.
Joseph visited the clinic in February 2017 with symptoms including dizziness, headaches, a fever, cough and delusions where a physician’s assistant overseeing the clinic gave him the less serious flu diagnosis – despite a negative test result.
Joseph was sent home with Tamiflu and pain relievers before landing in a hospital emergency room two days later, where a doctor said he had bacterial meningitis, Rowley said.
Joseph had to be placed in a medically induced coma for eight days and had multiple strokes during that time, the lawyer said.
The strokes left Joseph with a slew of health issues including hearing loss in his right ear, vertigo, numbness in his feet and legs, cognitive impairment and delayed reflexes, Rowley said.
Unity Point spokesman Mark Tauscheck maintained that the company upheld proper care standards.
“We respect the jury process but strongly disagree with this verdict and are exploring all options including an appeal,” Tauscheck said.