Dean Buhs Misdiagnosed With Peptic Ulcer, Dies of Heart Attack

Law Firm Newswire



Southfield, MI (Law Firm Newswire) February 3, 2016 – Dean Buhs’ executor filed a wrongful death lawsuit in 2011 against Gibson City hospital, Gibson City Clinic and Dr. David Hagan. The jury recently handed down a verdict for $950,000.

According to legal observers in the Ford County area, the recent jury award of $950,000 in damages awarded to the estate of 73-year-old Dean Buhs was a landmark civil judgment in the county’s 156-year history. The break down of damages included $400,000 for pecuniary losses, $200,000 for emotional distress, $100,000 for disability and $250,000 for pain and suffering. It took the jury approximately five hours to reach a verdict.

The wrongful death lawsuit alleged misdiagnosis of Buhs condition and revealed the following story. Buhs went to the hospital in 2008 with chest pains. According to the tests he underwent that day, his pain was allegedly the result of a peptic ulcer. While Buhs was in the hospital, cardiac enzymes were only taken once and then he was sent home to follow up with his regular doctor.

Buhs did go to his regular doctor twice, and was eventually admitted to the E.R. and subjected to further tests. While undergoing the tests, his pulse and heart rate fluctuated, but he was once again sent home and told to follow up with his doctor. Buhs once again went back to the hospital with chest pains and was told once more he had a peptic ulcer. He was sent to the medical/surgical unit but his heart rate and pulse were not monitored.

At trial it came out that Buhs heart had stopped beating 47-minutes before a code blue was called. His autopsy indicated no peptic ulcer, and his death was caused by “hemopericardium with a transmural rupture of the left ventricle.”

The wrongful death lawsuit statement of claim alleged the doctor misdiagnosed Buhs’ medical condition, was negligent for not ordering diagnostic tests for hardening of the arteries, did not draw cardiac enzymes according to accepted protocol, did not evaluate why the patient had an irregular pulse and fluctuating heart rate, did not admit the patient to hospital when it was evident he needed immediate medical care and did not send the patient to a specialized unit for further care.

“Furthermore, the lawsuit indicated that had Buhs been accurately diagnosed, the blockage in his heart could have been repaired with a stent,” said Daren Monroe, Litigation Funding Corporation representative.

The executor of the estate would be responsible for the multiple medical bills sent by the hospital for the care provided to Buhs while he was alive and seeking medical care. Since that care failed to assist Buhs and resulted in his death, the executor sought to remedy the financial imbalance by filing a medical negligence lawsuit to pay estate expenses.

One way the executor would have been able to obtain a large amount of cash to pay medical expenses would have been to contact a litigation funding company and apply for a lawsuit loan. A lawsuit loan, also referred to as pre-settlement funding, allows a plaintiff to pay their bill immediately while waiting for case resolution.

The approved amount is designed to allow plaintiffs to pay their current important financial obligations and to also deal with their extraordinary expenses, such as in this case. The application process is user friendly and fairly quick. Litigation funding may be just the right solution to a difficult financial bind.

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