The following are reasons why the attorney, physician, insurer, or employer would want to reach settlement, and not take the action to trial.
Attorney: There are potential problems proving that the health provider’s actions were a proximate cause of the patient’s injury from an unnecessary cardiac procedure. For example, the patient, who had a history of cardiac issues, underwent a stenting procedure. However, the patient actually needed a pacemaker to treat the patient’s syncope (fainting spells). The patient later died of heart failure.
Physician: There is concern about an initial, inaccurate diagnosis and the treatment provided resulting in a question as to whether the physician met the standard of care. For example, the patient submitted to an angioplasty and stenting procedure when the patient actually had a coronary artery spasm, a condition not requiring stenting and which might have been alleviated by the use of nitroglycerin.
Insurer: There are significant facts sympathetic to the patient. For example, the infant patient born with cardiac problems underwent several surgeries, some of which were later found to be unnecessary and which were not covered by insurance, resulting in financial stress for the family.
Employer: The employee had been exposed to drugs at the medical laboratory workplace, some of which have been correlated to causing heart attack. The employee died on the job of a heart attack as had another employee in the prior year. The employer wants to prevent future employee lawsuits.