A U.S. veteran from Kentucky was allegedly misdiagnosed with HIV in 2004. Since the diagnosis, the man has been on powerful medications, felt suicidal and has been with HIV-positive partners. The misdiagnosis was allegedly the result of a string of hospital errors.
The man's original diagnosis was called into question in 2012 when he applied to the Veterans Administration for benefits. A valid diagnosis was needed as part of the application process. The clinic that had originally given the diagnosis could not provide a confirmatory test result to give to the Veterans Administration.
In 2004, when he was first diagnosed, the veteran had questioned the test results because an earlier test had been negative. The clinic ordered a second test a few weeks after the first test. The second test did not detect HIV; however, doctors went ahead and advised the man to seek treatment for HIV and gave him literature on living with HIV. According to the lawsuit, doctors never reviewed the results of the second test with the veteran.
As this story illustrates, a misdiagnosis can have life-changing consequences for a patient. He or she may make major life decisions based on the mistaken advice of doctors. A medical malpractice attorney might be able to obtain compensation for a person who has been misdiagnosed with a severe illness. The attorney might negotiate with the doctor, hospital or insurance company to secure fair and adequate compensation for a client. Alternatively, the attorney may suggest bringing the case to court and letting a jury decide. The attorney may present the case in court on behalf of a plaintiff. If the argument is compelling, the jury might award a substantial settlement.
Source: Huffington Post, "Bobby Russell, U.S. Veteran, Files Lawsuit Claiming HIV Misdiagnosis", Hunter Stuart, September 03, 2013