A Pennsylvania jury has awarded $1.2 million to the widow of a man who died after being sent home from the emergency room in a medical malpractice suit against Tyler Memorial Hospital and two physicians.
The verdict found that both the hospital and two physicians were negligent in the death of Michael Scarpa, 55, a retired Long Island Rail Road worker. Scarpa died in 1999 two days after visiting the emergency room with chest pains and vomiting. He was advised to take cough medicine and to make an appointment to see his family doctor.
Scarpa had an ulcerated esophagus and died of sepsis, or blood poisoning when the perforated esophagus allowed food to enter his pleural cavity.
His widow's attorney claimed that Scarpa's death was caused by negligence and carelessness on behalf of the hospital and the doctors. Lab tests and x-rays of Scarpa's chest were taken before he was sent home.