$3.5M Verdict Against Doctor for Failing to Recognize Man’s Heart Attack

The verdict comprised entirely noneconomic damages, and the plaintiff’s attorney attributed the result to the plaintiff’s efforts to take responsibility for his own health…law.com, $3.5M Verdict Against Doctor for Failing to Recognize Man’s Heart Attack, Aleeza Furman, Oct 2023


Plaintiff Fred DiMeo claimed his primary care physician, Peter Gross, affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania Health System, brushed off his complaints of chest pain as gastrointestinal distress rather than evaluate him or direct him to an emergency department.


The day after he first called Gross, DiMeo asked for a script for an EKG and chest X-ray, the plaintiff said. He said Gross directed him to obtain outpatient testing, and DiMeo obtained an EKG that he was told would be reviewed later.


Later that evening, DiMeo presented at a different hospital’s emergency department with severe chest pain and an EKG revealed a myocardial infarction, according to the plaintiffs’ pretrial memo.


“Defendants’ collective failure to recognize and manage the obvious signs of an impending cardiac event increased the risk that Mr. DiMeo would suffer heart failure and atrial fibrillation,” the plaintiff alleged in the memo.


Gross claimed DiMeo was vague about his symptoms when he contacted his doctor and did not mention chest pain. Gross contended that he responded appropriately and within the standard of medical care.


Tumolo said the plaintiffs were able to use the earlier EKG results to demonstrate DiMeo had already begun to sustain damage to his heart.


The jury found that Gross was negligent in his care of DiMeo.


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