Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Against Cardiologist Claims Inadequate Treatment Caused Plaintiff’s Heart Attack
A medical malpractice lawsuit filed by a man and his wife claims that a cardiologist breached the standard of care, which resulted in a disabling heart attack. The lead plaintiff (hereinafter the “plaintiff”) in Mastropierro v. Hutchinson, filed in the 24th District Court of Orleans Parish, Louisiana, claims that the defendant treated him for angina and other heart-related conditions, but did not implant stents in his arteries. He suffered a heart attack about two weeks later, which has left him unable to work. The lawsuit asserts claims for medical expenses, lost wages, and other pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages for the plaintiff; and for loss of consortium for his spouse.
According to media reports, the plaintiff received treatment from the defendant in the fall of 2009. He was experiencing angina, which refers to chest pain commonly associated with coronary artery disease, as well as numbness in his hands. The defendant performed an angiogram, and on November 6, 2009 he performed a cardiac catheterization for two blockages in the plaintiff’s arteries. The defendant allegedly told the plaintiff that if stents were required, they would be implanted during that procedure.
A stent is a tube made of metal or plastic mesh that is implanted into a coronary artery, typically after an angioplasty procedure, to prevent further blockage. The plaintiff claims that he consented to stent implantation prior to the November 6 procedure, and that the defendant found multiple concerns during the procedure. The defendant did not implant any stents at that time, however, and the plaintiff was discharged from the hospital. On November 25, 2009, the plaintiff suffered a myocardial infarction, the medical term for a heart attack. He was taken to the emergency room, where a stent was inserted and blood flow was restored.
The heart attack has allegedly left the plaintiff disabled, and the condition of his heart has allegedly deteriorated significantly. The plaintiff claims that his physician told him that he would be unable to return to work, possibly permanently. The plaintiff’s employer has reportedly accommodated the plaintiff, however, to allow him to continue working due to economic necessity.
The plaintiff and his wife filed suit against the defendant for medical malpractice on January 23, 2014. They allege that the defendant breached his duty of care by failing to implant stents when the examination on November 6, 2009 indicated that they were necessary; failing to prescribe medication that would have reduced the risk of heart attack; failing to follow up with the plaintiff on a request to consult with a vascular surgeon; failing to address additional concerns related to the plaintiff’s coronary artery disease; and other acts of alleged negligence. The defendant’s failure to implant stents, the plaintiffs claim, was the cause of the plaintiff’s heart attack nineteen days later.
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