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$2.75 Million Settlement for Cellulitis Patient with Organ Failure


On October 21, 2003, a woman was admitted to the hospital complaining of left thigh pain for the past week. She was later diagnosed with cellulitis, a skin infection caused by bacteria. Her previous medical history included pancreatis, Type II diabetes, high cholesterol, depression, diverticulitis, hypercoagulopathy, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolus, and pneumonia.

At the hospital, the woman was given a prescription for oral Keflex but returned four days later with increased pain. A CT scan suggested cellulitis but her blood cultures were negative.

She was given 10 doses of intravenus Nafcillin and six doses of Keflex, resolving her cellulitis.

On November 1, 2003, her white blood cell count was abnormal and her temperature was high. Her vital signs continued to deteriorate and she was intubated. She developed multi-system organ failure. She eventually suffered an anoxic brain injury.

She lived for two years in a persistent vegetative state and passed away in 2005.

Plaintiff claimed that the doctors did not appreciate the signs and symptoms of septicemia. The Defendant doctors claimed they met the standard of care and that had they seen the signs earlier, it would not have changed the outcome. However, the case settled for $2.75 million.