Angela Thornton presented herself at the Cardiac and Vascular Center of Arkansas complaining of chest pain in February 2010. Dr. Shabir Dharamsey examined her and concluded that she was suffering from a weak heart. An echocardiogram was administered two days later to confirm the diagnosis.
However, court records reveal that the echocardiogram found Thornton’s heart to be normal. In spite of the normal test, she was admitted for the implantation of an automatic internal defibrillator.
During her medical malpractice trial, Dr. Morton Rinder of St. Louis , who is a board certified cardiologist and in charge of the cardiac care unit of a St. Louis hospital, testified, as did Dr. Heather Bloom, an associate professor at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, who is a board certified electrophysiologist, and among her other duties, teaches doctors how to install pacemakers and defibrillators.
Both testified that they examined records from the case and that Thornton did not have heart disease when the device was installed.
The jury agreed with the medical experts and awarded Thornton $1.75 million in compensatory damages for a surgery she did not need.
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