The estate of a man who suffered a massive heart attack just hours after being sent home from the hospital after complaining of chest pains and tingling in his arms has been awarded more than $6 million, according to one of his attorneys.
Jon Moore of Brown Moore & Associates in Charlotte was one of the lawyers who represented the estate of 53-year-old Anthony Savino in its medical negligence case against the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Hospital Authority doing business as Carolinas Healthcare System.
According to Moore, there was a failure to communicate between hospital personnel that led to Savino’s death.
“We were able to demonstrate … that had he gone to chest pain unit .. the signs and symptoms of the oncoming heart attack would’ve been visible … and he would’ve had a good chance of surviving,” Moore said.
Moore said that Savino had been experiencing numbness and tingling in his arms for a couple of days when he began having chest pains. His neighbor called 911 and upon their arrival, emergency medical workers initiated their chest pain protocol of aspirin, nitroglycerin, and an IV before taking Savino to the defendant hospital.
What happened when Savino was turned over to hospital officials is debated, Moore said.
Attorneys for the hospital, Kimberly Sullivan and Russ A. Brinson of Horack Talley in Charlotte, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
According to the plaintiff, paramedics informed an on-duty nurse that they responded to a call involving chest pains and that their protocol had relieved the pains in route to the hospital.
The nurse reportedly denied getting that information from the paramedics and despite signing a registration form on which the information was listed, said she didn’t know what condition Savino arrived with or what treatment he received.
The information was not passed along to the physician, Moore said. Savino underwent several tests that appeared normal and he was discharged after a few hours.
Five hours later, Moore said, Savino was dead from a heart attack.
Moore said that the physician, who was dismissed as a defendant, said in a deposition that had she known about the information in the report, she would likely have admitted Savino to the hospital’s accredited chest pain unit.
Moore said that had the hospital followed its protocol, Savino would have been admitted for further evaluation and monitoring.
In addition to finding corporate and administrative negligence, the jury found that the hospital acted with reckless disregard, exempting the award from the statutory cap of $515,000 on noneconomic damages.
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VERDICT REPORT – MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE
Amount: $6.13 million
Injuries alleged: Wrongful death
Case name: Estate of Anthony Savino v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Hospital Authority dba Carolinas Healthcare System
Court: Cabarrus County Superior Court
Case number: 16 CVS 000303
Judge: Julia Lynn Gullett
Date of verdict: Nov. 15
Most helpful experts: Dr. Dan Mayer, Albany Medical Center in New York and Dr. Andrew
Selwyn, Brigham and Women’s Medical Center in Boston
Attorneys for plaintiff: R. Kent Brown, Jon Moore and Paige Pahlke of Brown Moore & Associates in Charlotte
Attorneys for defendant: Kimberly Sullivan and Russ A. Brinson of Horack Talley in