Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law Blog

Doctors Can Also Be Victims of Medical Malpractice

Posted by Briggs Bedigian | Mar 17, 2016 | 0 Comments

In a medical malpractice lawsuit, doctors are usually the defendants. Typically, a medical malpractice case involves allegations of professional negligence by a healthcare professional which caused injury or death to a patient. However, in some cases, the injured patient could be a doctor themselves. This goes to show that no one is immune from being affected by medical malpractice.

In 2013, Dr.Jennifer Sidari had just graduated from the Commonwealth Medical College in Scranton, Pennsylvania. After celebrating with family and friends, she was set to begin her residency at the Janet Weis Children's Hospital. However, shortly before she began, she went to the hospital complaining of headaches. Days later, she was dead.

Her family and friends were heartbroken over her sudden death. Soon after, her family contacted an attorney to get answers from the hospital on how and why this young doctor had died.

Sidari had apparently died of a brain hemorrhage. In a medical malpractice case against the Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, where Sidari was admitted, the complaint alleged medical staff was too slow to recognize the seriousness of Sidari's condition, and responded too slowly to help her after it got worse.

After Sidari went into the hospital for bruising and headaches, staff took blood samples which showed the presence of blood clots were over 30 times the normal level. Still, after two days of the blood testing, none of the doctors or staff followed up on the alarming blood levels. Even after showing signs of a stroke, doctors were reportedly slow to respond. Shortly after, Sidari passed away.

A major issue in the case involved the timing of the head scans. The attending physician at the time, Dr. Jessica Zingaretti, testified that she had ordered head-imaging scans for a low platelet count on May 28, 2013, two days after Sidari was admitted. The scans were allegedly still not done for another two and a half hours.

According to the attorney for Sidari's family, “There's no question not getting them scheduled for two-and-a-half hours caused a delay in working up whatever was going on in Ms. Sidari's head.”

After only a few days into testimony in the civil trial, a settlement was finally reached, almost 3 years after Dr. Sidari's death. One of the jurors who spoke to a local news outlet said that it was not looking good for Geisinger.

The specifics of the settlement were not yet available, but according to the family's attorney, “The Sidari family is relieved that the case has been settled. They miss their daughter and they have to move on with their life now.”

If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a medical mistake, the Gilman & Bedigian team is fully equipped to handle the complex process of filing a malpractice claim. Our staff, including a physician and attorneys with decades of malpractice litigation experience, will focus on getting you compensated, so you can focus on healing and moving forward.

About the Author

Briggs Bedigian

H. Briggs Bedigian (“Briggs”) is a founding partner of Gilman & Bedigian, LLC.  Prior to forming Gilman & Bedigian, LLC, Briggs was a partner at Wais, Vogelstein and Bedigian, LLC, where he was the head of the firm's litigation practice.  Briggs' legal practice is focused on representing clients involved in medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases. 

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