Family medical practitioners are responsible for spotting any warning signs that they may be in danger of any physical harm. If they suspect that their patient’s physical or mental health may put them at risk, they are responsible for doing everything that they can to help the patient. Unfortunately, doctors in Connecticut sometimes overlook these issues. In rare cases, a doctor’s lapse can lead to a fatal accident.
Nearly five years ago, a Vernon man killed his 43-year-old wife and then committed suicide. The couple had two daughters whose ages are unknown. It is possible that the man was upset about his impending divorce, which his wife had filed for just weeks before. However, the man’s family practice doctor was ultimately held responsible for the death of the man as well the murder of his wife.
Before the case was heard in court, the doctor resigned from his position. The frequency of the man’s visits with his doctor is unknown, but the jury decided that the doctor neglected his professional obligation to evaluate his patient for mental problems that could lead to suicide. The jury decided that because the physician was at fault for the suicide, he was also to blame for the murder of his wife. As a result of the verdict, the physician and his employers will have to pay $8 million.
It is important for people to be able to trust their family doctors to recognize health problems that the patient might have otherwise missed. Thankfully, when medical malpractice proves fatal or causes serious harm, the victim’s family members may be able to receive compensation through a wrongful death claim.