Maryland Malpractice Lawsuit Over Misdiagnosis Result in $2.35M Verdict

A jury has awarded a Maryland woman $2.35 million in a malpractice lawsuit filed as a result of a medical misdiagnosis that cost her a leg, a foot and several fingertips.  

The misdiagnosis lawsuit was filed by Yesenia Rivera against Dr. Dawn Thornton and Dr. Virendra Saxena, both doctors at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital. The lawsuit alleged that confusion between conflicting diagnoses by the two doctors led to her suffering life-long injuries that would severely restrict her ability to work. 

Rivera’s lawsuit alleged that she was admitted to Shady Grove on August 1 and diagnosed with kidney stones. However, two days later she returned to the emergency room in extreme pain, and Thornton believed the kidney stone diagnosis to be incorrect, and diagnosed her as suffering from either a gallbladder infection or an ectopic pregnancy, which occurs when a fertilized egg begins to develop inside of a woman’s fallopian tubes instead of in the uterus. 

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In truth, according to the lawsuit, Rivera’s kidney condition meant she needed a large amount of fluids, which Thornton did not prescribe. When she was transferred to the intensive care unit, Saxena also failed to give her the fluids she needed, and no one was called in to drain her kidney for another 10 hours. The lack of fluids resulted in restricted oxygen to her extremities. 

As a result of the misdiagnosis and medical mistakes, doctors had to amputate Rivera’s foot, leg, and several finger tips. The lawsuit claims that Rivera, who was a housecleaner and cashier, is unable to do her previous jobs and unlikely to find jobs suited to her skills that she can perform due to her injuries. 

Rivera’s lawsuit charged the two doctors with negligence and last month a Montgomery County Circuit Court jury agreed, awarding Rivera $1.5 million for pain and suffering, $190,000 for medical expenses, $360,000 for lost wages, and $296,000 for loss of household services, according to a report in the Maryland Daily Record. The pain and suffering award will be severely reduced under Maryland lawsuit damage cap, which will bring the total award down to $1.5 million.


  • IrisOctober 4, 2012 at 4:45 am

    Do you consider it macarpltice if a doctor cannot determine your actual disease that may result to damaging consequences? I know a child that was brought to a doctor and the doctor gave prescriptions. But the diagnosis is wrong and gave the child complications.

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