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Newport News Woman Wins $1.8 Million in Medical Malpractice Case

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A jury awarded a Newport News, VA woman $1.8 million after her doctor misdiagnosed her heart condition, causing her to need a heart transplant. Leslie Thorne, the 25-year-old woman, was originally awarded $4 million in a trial in the Newport News Circuit Court against Dr. David Glick. However, the amount was later reduced to $1.8 million because of caps on medical damages in Virginia. Thorne initially sued three doctors for their negligence—Glick, William Hunter, and Andrew B. Cole.

Four months after delivering her baby, Thorne went to the emergency room on June 11, 2005. She complained of shortness of breath, coughing and chest pain. Her x-rays showed she had an enlarged heart, but the emergency room doctor, Dr. Cole, said it was merely bronchitis and gave her an antibiotic. Still feeling ill, Thorne visited Dr. Hunter a few weeks later on July 5. He claimed she had a virus and gave her an anti-nausea prescription. However, eight days later, her symptoms were nearly unbearable. At that point, Thorne went to the emergency room at Mary Immaculate Hospital, complaining of chest pain, shortness of breath, and swelling in her legs. Tests at the hospital showed, again, that she had an enlarged heart and she had an abnormal electrocardiogram. Nevertheless, Dr. Glick diagnosed her with hepatitis based on high liver enzymes and gave her a prescription.

Finally, on July 18, doctors at St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore told Thorne that they believed she had a rare heart condition caused by childbirth. She later received a heart transplant. Moreover, it is highly likely she will need another heart transplant in the future and will need to take medicine for the rest of her life.