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Man wins medical malpracitce suit over failure to test for virus

Every year, viruses cause life-threatening infections to thousands of people. When doctors fail to follow through with potentially life-saving testing for suspected illnesses, the patient may go on to suffer serious consequences or even death. Georgia residents who believe they have suffered greater harm due to a provider's negligence may have a case for a medical malpractice suit.

In 2007, a man sought medical care for a complaint of facial paralysis. A resident on duty recommended that he submit to testing for the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV. Because the patient believed that he could be at higher risk for contracting the potentially deadly virus, he consented to testing and signed the official consent form. However, at some point, the physician who treated him declined to order the test but did not inform the patient of his decision. Approximately four weeks later, the man's primary physician informed him that his test were all clear -- though the test for HIV was not specifically referenced. 

Three years after the man believed he had been tested for the dangerous virus, he was advised once again to be tested based on physical symptoms he was experiencing. At that time, the test revealed that he did have HIV, which, by that time, had progressed to full-blown AIDS. The man was forced to give up his career due to the physical impairments he suffered over the three years without effective treatment.

A jury recently awarded the patient approximately $18.4 million in response to his medical malpractice lawsuit. The jury determined that the disease's progression into AIDS may have been prevented if the proper testing had been carried out. The hospital spokesperson stated it plans to appeal the verdict. Georgia patients who have suffered physical and monetary harm due to suspected negligence on the part of medical providers may likewise seek compensation through a civil suit of their own.

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