McKeen and Associates discuss winning verdict for the wrongful death of a mother of three
A jury delivered a nearly $4 million verdict Thursday in the case of the wrongful death of a mother of three.
The jury’s verdict found an ER doctor culpable in the 2011 death of Garylyn Langell, while it did not find her family physician responsible, according to the verdict.
The jury also awarded past economic damages at $490,000, and past non-economic damages at $3.5 million.
“Langell presented herself to Port Huron Hospital Emergency Room with classic symptoms for a dissecting aortic, a rare, but life-threatening condition that is easily ruled out through a simple chest CT scan,” lawyer Brian McKeen, managing partner of McKeen & Associates, said in a statement.
Langell was from Columbus Township and 47 when she died, according to an obituary in the Times Herald.
According to the lawsuit, Langell complained of severe pain between her shoulder blades that radiated throughout her chest while at the Port Huron Hospital ER the early morning hours of Sept. 15, 2011.
The case states Dr. Michael Paul diagnosed her with “musculoskeletal chest pain” and sent her home.
The following day, Langell went to see her primary care physician, Dr. Timothy Horrigan, who diagnosed her with mid-back strain and spasm.
On the morning of Sept. 18, 2011, Langell was found dead in her home. An autopsy showed cause of death was a “ruptured aortic dissection with left hemothorax.”
“Had a simple test been ordered, Langell’s condition would have been treated and she would be alive today,” McKeen said in a statement.
The verdict is also applicable to Physicians Healthcare Network, according to Christine Snyder of Marx Layne and Company, who issued the statement. She said in an email the judge ruled that Paul was not an agent of the hospital; that will be appealed, however.
Sam Langell, Garylyn Langell’s son, said the family is happy with the verdict.
“She was an extraordinary person to me and everybody else,” he said. “Every day we think about her.”
There was no immediate response Friday to an email to media contacts for McLaren Port Huron, formerly Port Huron Hospital.
A call to Keith P. Felty, who represents Paul and the Physicians Healthcare Network, also was not immediately returned Friday.