Law Firm of Edmiston & Colton
Free Initial Consultation
Call 406-545-0889


In Verdicts And Settlements

Our Attorneys Have Over

70 Years

Of Combined Legal Experience


Cases Resolved

View Blog Navigation

Failure to diagnose meningitis leads to medical malpractice award

Montana parents who bring a young child to the emergency room place a lot of trust in the doctors and staff. Doctors are expected to meet the standard of care of a reasonably skilled practitioner in the community. A failure to meet this standard can lead to tragic results.

Recently, in Alabama, a jury awarded $10 million to a family for a physician's alleged failure to diagnose bacterial meningitis in their 3-month-old son. According to the family's lawyers, the parents brought the infant to a local emergency room with symptoms consistent with a serious bacterial infection. He was not given any tests to rule out such an infection, however.

The following day the parents took the child to a family doctor who did a lumbar puncture and diagnosed bacterial meningitis. The boy was hospitalized and went through several surgeries. But according to the family's attorneys, the delay in diagnosis and treatment resulted in brain injury, seizure disorders and hearing loss. The child will need medical care for the rest of his life.

This case illustrates the serious damage that can result from medical malpractice. It also shows how complex these cases can be; the jury found the hospital liable after a five-week trial at which more than 20 witnesses testified.

Doctors are not perfect, nor are they expected to be. They are expected, however, to exercise a basic level of professional competence when diagnosing the cause of a patient's symptoms. When the symptoms presented appear to call for certain tests and those are not conducted, the doctor and sometimes, the hospital can be held liable for any resulting harm to the patient.

Source: The Birmingham News, "Tot's missed meningitis brings $10 million verdict against Walker Baptist Medical Center," Kent Faulk, Feb. 12, 2016

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Your Future Can Be Brighter

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Super Lawyers American Association For Justice The Best Lawyers In America State Bar Of Montana America's Top 100 Attorneys

Keep In Touch


Law Firm of Edmiston & Colton
310 Grand Ave
Billings, MT 59101

Toll Free: 877-413-7681
Phone: 406-545-0889
Fax: 406-259-1094
Map & Directions

Review Us