Edward F. Kealy recently obtained a discontinuance for an Orange County cardiologist after the plaintiff claimed that the physician failed to diagnose and treat his aortic stenosis. The plaintiff further claimed that he needed aortic valve replacement because of the physician’s alleged failure to monitor his aortic stenosis.
Feldman, Kleidman, Coffey & Sappe LLP (FKC&S) submitted a summary judgment motion on behalf of the client demonstrating that the doctor had in fact diagnosed aortic stenosis approximately 10 years earlier when he first began treating the patient, and continued to monitor his condition with regular testing. Critically, aortic stenosis is a progressive condition where the aortic valve gets tighter over time. As set forth in FKC&S’s motion, their client had performed routine testing mere months earlier, which revealed that the patient’s stenosis was stable and that the patient was not in need of aortic valve replacement at that time, though given the progressive nature of his condition, would eventually need aortic valve replacement in the future. The patient was scheduled for routine follow-up approximately three months later.
In the interim, the plaintiff presented to the emergency room following a drinking binge which caused him to go into rapid atrial fibrillation and, in turn, exacerbated his underlying aortic stenosis. The combination of the atrial fibrillation with rapid ventricular response and the patient’s aortic stenosis caused him to then develop congestive heart failure and necessitated aortic valve replacement immediately.
FKC&S’s motion for summary judgment argued that their client appropriately monitored the patient’s condition, that the patient’s condition had been stable months prior to his presentation to the emergency room and that the patient required a valve replacement earlier than expected because of the episode of binge drinking, which exacerbated his underlying condition.
Based on the strength of the arguments in the motion, the plaintiff decided to voluntarily discontinue the case against FKC&S’s client.