HIV Misdiagnosis Lawsuit Over Emotional Injury Allowed to Proceed in D.C.

A Washington, D.C. appeals court has given the green light to a misdiagnosis lawsuit filed by a man who alleges he suffered emotional damage after he was wrongly led to believe he had HIV.

For five years, Terry Hedgepeth, 42, thought he was HIV positive because of a misdiagnosis made in 2000 at the Whitman-Walker Clinic, according to his medical malpractice lawsuit. He has been attempting to sue the clinic as a result of the emotional injury he suffered, but his original lawsuit was dismissed because there was no physical injury.

Earlier this month, that ruling was overturned by the D.C. Appeals Court, which changed the law in the District and determined that emotional injury could be grounds for such a lawsuit.

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Hedgepeth originally went to get tested because he discovered that a girlfriend had kept the fact that she was HIV-positive a secret from him. When his own tests came back positive, he alleges that he had a mental breakdown and spent time in a psychiatric ward. He lost his home, cut ties to his family and moved into a Whitman-Walker facility for homeless patients. He also claims that he began using cocaine, in hopes that it would kill him before his family found out he was HIV-positive.

According to the lawsuit, Hedgepeth thought he had HIV until 2005, when a friend suggested alternative healing therapy. A new test was conducted, which indicated that Hedgepeth did not have HIV. A third test confirmed he did not have the disease.

Hedgepeth is seeking $20 million in damages as a result of the severe emotional distress and anxiety, loss of contact with family, commitment to psychiatric facilities, severe and persistent depression and suicide ideation, past, present and future lost earnings, damage to reputation and the loss of for years of normal life, the lawsuit states.

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7 Comments

  • carlosJanuary 16, 2019 at 9:09 pm

    I discover a few doctors on the clinic I been attending for my health since 2004..have been lying to me about my diagnosis. Is been 20 years, No symptoms or illnesses related to HIV. My doctors knew and kept on treating me for it. They change, edited and altered the information on my medical files. They treated me knowing I did not need treatment. Concealed opportunities for trial I was invited so[Show More]I discover a few doctors on the clinic I been attending for my health since 2004..have been lying to me about my diagnosis. Is been 20 years, No symptoms or illnesses related to HIV. My doctors knew and kept on treating me for it. They change, edited and altered the information on my medical files. They treated me knowing I did not need treatment. Concealed opportunities for trial I was invited so I would not find out I was healthy. One of the doctors wrote on my medical notes that my illness was progressing so rapidly a heart attack was imminent. I don't have a heart condition and I am good health. They also told me, my condition was getting worst and try to treat me knowing I was fine. The clinic has admitted they had made errors and the medical plan admitted in front of two witnesses that horrible things have been done to me in order for people to keep their jobs. They also refused to give me my medical records. Deleted medical notes on my online medical charts after finding out I made copies. Concealed and edited blood test results. Told me over and over again my blood test were missing or lost in the system. Track my medical comings and goings thru my medical plan to stop me from getting new results....and I got everything documented. My medical profile and bio describe me as a drinker and a mess. I am a college graduate with no drug or criminal record. Even tho they have admitted their wrong I have not received a letter of apology from the clinic. Till these days I don't know what they have done to me since half of my medical info has been erased and or edited for me not to see. I'm terrified to go see a doctor ..because I don't want to die from a heart attack. I have also documented my story on video and instructed my peers to be released if anything happens to me. A counselor at the clinic offered to help me with my situation. She sends me to a place that was filled with junkies and questionable people.. I was puzzled since I don't have a drug problem. Why send me there? I was seeking legal help..not drug counseling. When spoke to a short latina lady, she instructed several men to lock the doors. I was locked in. So I began to tell her who I was and my achievements and all the people who will miss me and will come looking for me. They decided to open the doors.After...they told me to get another opinion and send me to a place to get a blood test. They were not happy to have met me. I don't think I was supposed to come home that day. By the way..the counselor who sends me to this place is the same counselor introduce me to the clinic. I realize..this person has been setting people up with bogus diagnosis for years and getting wat with it. ALL FOR MONEY. people have ie because of it. The clinic continues calling my house asking to come in for blood work knowing I fear for my life because of this place. They laugh on the phone when they call me in .and signed up for programs without my consent.

  • ThomasSeptember 5, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    Missed diagnosis leads to either no treatment or the wrong treatment for medical problems, which can have catastrophic results resulting from treatable conditions. We have no clue as to how widespread the problem is, but we do know that it is a common difficulty attributable to a large percentage of all medical malpractice lawsuits. When damage occurs from a missed or wrong diagnosis, there are ce[Show More]Missed diagnosis leads to either no treatment or the wrong treatment for medical problems, which can have catastrophic results resulting from treatable conditions. We have no clue as to how widespread the problem is, but we do know that it is a common difficulty attributable to a large percentage of all medical malpractice lawsuits. When damage occurs from a missed or wrong diagnosis, there are certain criteria that determine whether or not the doctor is liable for his or her mistake such as the personal and family medical history, review of systems, objective and subjective symptoms, what tests the doctor ordered, the follow-up for interpretation, patient teaching and action taken when the patient returns and complains that the treatment is not helping. http://nursetom.com

  • obmodeSeptember 3, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    www.youtube.com/hivquestions

  • SimonSeptember 1, 2011 at 12:37 am

    The whole 'HIV'/'AIDS" is a very strange one. Find 89 minutes to watch the following documentary, "House of Numbers": http://tinyurl.com/hivaidsover You might find it will cause you to question everything you thought you knew about this topic.

  • JtJ ZomaAugust 31, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Liz i am so surprised you are proud of being HIV positive. You are the typical person who loves to be positive and get rich out of it. Bottom line here is questioning the truth about the AIDs theory. The theory says once one is determined to be positive, they will be positive all their life. So many people have turned out to have been misdiagnosed, have had their lives disrrupted, yet they get no [Show More]Liz i am so surprised you are proud of being HIV positive. You are the typical person who loves to be positive and get rich out of it. Bottom line here is questioning the truth about the AIDs theory. The theory says once one is determined to be positive, they will be positive all their life. So many people have turned out to have been misdiagnosed, have had their lives disrrupted, yet they get no compansation out of it. Those organisations making money out of misdiagnosis must be closed ! Period. They whole theory of HIv thus far needs an overhaul and a lot of questions need be answered !

  • LizJuly 24, 2011 at 1:10 am

    Having HIV is not the end of the world. Because of it, I have met so many wonderful people in Michigan and around the country (even a few abroad) on HarmonyHIV.com. My life has become richer because of it. To all of us who test positive stay strong and don't let anyone put you down. life goes on and we can continue to live a full and happy life.

  • TerryJuly 20, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    My God, what a horrible experience! Too bad he didn't go for a second opinion, it could have saved him lots of problems.

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