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Failure to Treat A-Fib, Leading to Stroke

$865,000 – Medical Malpractice/Negligence


A 77-year-old retiree with chronic A-fib has a significant stroke after physicians failed to put her on Coumadin anticoagulant therapy despite three years of complaints of palpitations.

In January, a 77-year-old retired school psychologist/educator, noted occasional heart palpitations lasting 15-20 minutes. She consulted physicians at Defendant Roe Medical Group. A diagnosis of atrial fibrillation was made. Some digitalis effect was noted. Claimant frequently complained of palpitations for the next three years and was consistently assessed with atrial fibrillation. As early as March her treating physicians noted that in spite of her diagnosis and need for anticoagulant therapy, Claimant was not on anticoagulant therapy. None was prescribed. At this point, Claimant began experiencing some fleeting left-sided numbness. She was put on a daily aspirin tablet. By June, three years later, Respondent’s physicians noted that Coumadin therapy should be considered; however, none was ever prescribed. On August 20th, 3-1/2 years after the initial diagnosis of atrial fibrillation, plaintiff suffered a significant embolic stroke.


One of the more serious complications of chronic atrial fibrillation is thromboembolism with stroke. In order to prevent this catastrophe, long-term anticoagulant therapy is advocated in patients with chronic atrial fibrillation. Plaintiff sustained her significant stroke because of the failure of her physicians at Defendant Roe Medical Group to adequately treat her chronic atrial fibrillation.


Embolic stroke with left-sided paralysis; full dependency for all of her daily needs and household support. Emotional distress.

Special Notes

The case settled for $865,000 before depositions were taken. Claimant’s three adult children settled their potential wrongful death action for an additional $15,000.




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