February 21, 2003
In this ten-day trial, a Jefferson County jury found in favor of a Louisville ER doctor after a patient died of undiagnosed heart failure caused by myocarditis. Upon the patient’s admittance, the physician ordered an EKG but suspected the patient’s problems were related to her preexisting thyrotoxicosis. He then referred her to an internist, who concurred with the ER doctor’s diagnosis. A few hours later, however, the patient died while being airlifted to another hospital. The Plaintiff alleged malpractice and asked for over 2.5 million dollars in damages. Gerald Toner successfully argued that the ER doctor had acted reasonably in not ruling out heart failure and referring the patient to the internist.