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Family doc did not send teen to ER after stroke diagnosis – $3,500,000 Verdict

Virginia Lawyers Weekly//January 21, 2013

Family doc did not send teen to ER after stroke diagnosis – $3,500,000 Verdict

Virginia Lawyers Weekly//January 21, 2013

The plaintiff, an 18-year-old woman, scheduled an appointment with her family doctor due to her symptoms of tingling in her right arm, a tongue that felt “asleep,” a headache and the inability to feel her right leg. During her appointment at the office of her family doctor, a nurse practitioner saw the plaintiff. After examining the plaintiff, the nurse practitioner advised plaintiff and her mother that she would order an MRI to be performed immediately. Plaintiff then proceeded to the Sentara CarePlex facility to undergo an MRI and waited at the facility for the results. When the family doctor was notified by the radiologist that the plaintiff had suffered an acute stroke, the family doctor failed to advise the plaintiff of the results or send her to the emergency room. Instead the doctor’s office advised the plaintiff to schedule an appointment for the next day to discuss the test results. The next morning, while preparing to attend her appointment with the doctor, plaintiff suffered a catastrophic stroke. Plaintiff’s experts testified that as a result of the defendants’ failure to send her immediately to the emergency room where she would have been placed on aspirin, oxygen, IV fluids and bed rest, plaintiff suffered the additional catastrophic stroke the following day which could have been prevented.

As a result of the defendants’ negligence, the plaintiff underwent decompressive craniectomy and subsequent cranioplasty, needed seven days of intensive care, 30 days of inpatient rehabilitation and two years of outpatient rehabilitation. The plaintiff has lost the ability to read, write and speak without difficulty. She suffers right side paralysis, requiring the use of an ankle orthotic, and she has lost the majority of her right-side vision. Due to these conditions, she is no longer able to drive a motor vehicle, run, attend school, work or be self-sufficient.

After a three day trial, the jury returned a verdict against the defendants in the amount of $3,500,000. The trial court granted defendants’ unopposed request for remittitur, to $2,000,000, which was the applicable statutory medical malpractice cap.


Type of action: Medical malpractice
Injuries alleged: Catastrophic stroke leading to right side paralysis
Name of case: Quandahl v. McCord, M.D. and Hampton Family Practice, PLLC
Court: Hampton Circuit Court
Case no: CL11-1262
Tried before: Jury
Judge: Bonnie L. Jones
Date: Aug. 22, 2012
Special damages: $217,721 in medicals; $1,300,000 lost earning potential
Demand: $1,600,000
Offer: $1,000,000 (offered at conclusion of case)
Verdict or settlement: Verdict
Amount: $3,500,000
Attorneys for plaintiff: James P. St. Clair and Jonathan L. Stone, Virginia Beach
Attorneys for defendants: Ronald P. Herbert and Katherine W. Tanner Smith, Richmond
Plaintiff’s experts: Dr. Barbara Parks and Dr. Richard Hoffman

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