Iowa jury returns $27 million verdict in misdiagnosed flu case
A jury has returned a $27 million verdict against a Central Medical Clinic in Iowa after a man with bacterial meningitis was misdiagnosed with the flu, suffered strokes and said he was definitely hurt
DES MOINES, Iowa — An Iowa jury has returned a $27 million verdict against a Des Moines medical clinic after a man with bacterial meningitis was misdiagnosed with the flu, suffered strokes and said that he was definitely hurt.
The Polk County jury returned the verdict Monday in the 2017 lawsuit filed against UnityPoint Clinic Family Medicine in Des Moines.
Joseph Dudley and his wife Sarah Dudley filed a lawsuit after Joseph fell ill in February 2017 and went to the clinic in Southeast Des Moines. They reported that he had dizziness, delirium, a headache, high fever and a cough.
A physician’s assistant in charge of the clinic at the time diagnosed him with the flu although the tests came back negative, Dudley’s attorney Nick Rowley said. Dudley was given Tamiflu and a painkiller and sent home.
Two days later, he went to the emergency room at UnityPoint Iowa Methodist Medical Center, where a doctor diagnosed bacterial meningitis resulting from an infection of the heart valves. Dudley was placed in a medically induced coma and was in intensive care for eight days during which he suffered a series of strokes causing hearing loss in his right ear, dizziness and lightheadedness, feet and numb legs, and much slower thinking and reaction time. , Rowley said.
“Mr. Dudley will suffer permanent brain damage all his life because he failed to complete a simple blood test, a complete blood count,” said Rowley, founder of Trial Lawyers for Justice.
Headquartered in West Des Moines, Iowa, UnityPoint Health has 400 clinics, 20 regional hospitals and 19 community network hospitals in Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin.
UnityPoint Health spokesperson Mark Tauscheck said the company believes it meets well-established standards of care.
“We respect the jury process but strongly disagree with this verdict and are exploring all options, including an appeal,” he said.