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Oregon Widow Files $10 Million Dollar Wrongful Death Claim

Just five days away from his 29th birthday, Eugene, Oregon, resident Aaron Martineau passed away in September of 2014. A $10 million wrongful death claim has just been filed on his behalf that states his death, caused by a heart condition, occurred just one day after he was incorrectly diagnosed as having chest pain that wasn’t related to his heart and discharged from a hospital in Springfield, according to the Register-Guard.

The defendants in this case are the hospital in question, McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center, along with the doctors who treated Martineau and the physician groups who employed the doctors at the time of the 29-year-old’s visit.

The lawsuit, which was filed in the Lane County Circuit Court by Martineau’s widow Jamie, alleges Aaron Martineau visited the emergency room at McKenzie-Willamette on September 2, 2014, with shortness of breath, a slow heart rate and chest pain. At that time, a physician’s assistant drafted a list of possible diagnoses for Martineau, which included that he may be suffering from life-threatening conditions related to his heart and lung systems. However, after medical officials reviewed an X-ray of Martineau, they diagnosed him as having chest pain that was not related to his heart and released him from the hospital. One day later, the 29-year-old died from aortic dissection, a somewhat rare condition that results from a tear in a large blood vessel that branches off of the heart. Once the blood from this tear ruptures the blood vessel’s outside wall, it often has fatal complications. According to the Mayo Clinic, the symptoms of this condition are also found in other disease, which can lead to delays in diagnosis. The chances of a person’s survival dramatically improve if the condition is caught early and promptly treated.

According to the wrongful death claim documents, Jamie Martineau is alleging that the limit tests and examinations her husband had during his emergency room visit were not enough to confirm or rule out serious conditions that matched his symptoms. She is asking for $3.5 million in economic losses related to her husband’s funeral, burial and medical costs as well as for the loss of his earning capacity, income and services to both his household and family. This is in addition to a request for $6.5 million in non-economic damages to compensate the family for his loss and for the mental trauma, pain and distress he suffered from the time of his hospital discharge until his death a day later.

The Register-Guard reached out to the McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center for comment, but they did not respond to the request. Officials for the defendant physician groups have not offered any comment, and the defendants have not yet filed their formal responses to the claim in court.

The loss of a loved one can easily devastate a family financially and emotionally. If you have lost someone you love because of the negligence or wrongful conduct of another party, speak to an attorney, like a wrongful death lawyer Denver CO can rely on, about your case as soon as possible.

Thanks to our friend Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into wrongful death practice.

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