Wrongful Death from Misdiagnosis of Strep Throat
Doe v. Roes Corporate Defendants
A man went to an urgent care facility complaining of a sore throat. After being misdiagnosed by a physician's assistant, who failed to order a simple test for strep throat, the man died after his strep throat developed into Scarlet Fever. There was no doctor present to supervise the physician's assistant who was employed by the medical group staffing the clinic.
The urgent care facility was owned by a subsidiary of a major healthcare corporation. Haas and his co-counsel, Cliff Weingus, argued that the corporate subsidiary and the medical group were directly liable for the death because they approved the decision to operate the urgent care facility without a doctor being present. They further argued that because the medical group and corporate subsidiary were not licensed health care providers the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) did not apply.
At trial, the defendants filed numerous pre-trial motions before the trial court attempting to obtain a ruling that MICRA applied to this case. They wanted MICRA to apply so that, among other things, noneconomic losses would be limited to $250,000. Haas and Weingus argued that, since the defendants were unlicensed and directly liable, the opinion in one of their previous cases entitled Lathrop v. Healthcare Partners Medical Group would not allow for the application of MICRA. After the court deferred ruling on the MICRA issue, the defendants sought and obtained an intra-trial mediation at which the case was settled for $2 Million.
Resolution: $2 Million