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Jury Awards $5.25 Million Malpractice Verdict Against Fort Worth Doctor
Date:12/6/2007

Physician Admitted Taking 'Unacceptable Risk' With Patient

FORT WORTH, Texas, Dec. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- A Tarrant County jury has awarded $5.25 million to the family of a 75-year-old Fort Worth man who died after his physician failed to properly diagnose his symptoms.

Jurors deliberated about six hours over two days before issuing their verdict on Tuesday in the 236th District Court of Judge Thomas W. Lowe III. The jury found that Dr. Paul J. Goldman of Fort Worth missed significant warning signs in treating Charles R. Dunning when he came to Dr. Goldman's office in July 2003.

The court heard testimony that Mr. Dunning, who had been previously treated for a blood clot and wore compression stockings as a preventive measure, complained to Dr. Goldman of swelling in his right foot. He also told the doctor that he felt weak and had pain in his leg.

Despite Mr. Dunning's history of a previous blood clot, the doctor spent only 10 minutes with him and did not remove the compression stockings during the examination. Instead, Dr. Goldman scheduled a sonogram for the following day. Following the sonogram, Mr. Dunning returned to Dr. Goldman's office complaining of a back problem. While in the waiting room, Mr. Dunning collapsed and died of a massive pulmonary embolism.

Attorney Michael G. Guajardo, an attorney in Dallas' The Law Offices of Frank L. Branson, told jurors that Mr. Dunning exhibited classic symptoms of a blood clot that should have spurred the physician to order immediate testing.

"This was a heartbreaking case for those who loved Mr. Dunning," says Mr. Guajardo, who represented Mr. Dunning's wife and three adult children. "It's hard for them because his death was unnecessary. Mr. Dunning would be here today if proper procedures had been followed."

In court testimony, Dr. Goldman acknowledged that he had taken an "unacceptable risk" by delaying additional tests despite his knowledge of Mr. Dunning's medical history. He also stated that he had learned nothing from Mr. Dunning's death and would not act differently if presented with the same circumstances.

"When jurors hear testimony like that, they respond accordingly," Mr. Guajardo says. "Mr. Dunning's family is pleased with this verdict and hope it sends a strong message to the medical community that doctors need to listen to their patients."

The Law Offices of Frank L. Branson represents clients in cases involving complex product liability, catastrophic injury, commercial air crashes, professional negligence, and business torts. To learn more about the firm, please visit http://www.flbranson.com.

For more information about Mr. Dunning's case or to interview Mr. Guajardo, please contact Barry Pound at 214-559-4630 or by e-mail at barry@androvett.com.


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SOURCE Law Offices of Frank L. Branson
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