An Iowa jury is set to resume deliberations after failing to reach a verdict in a medical malpractice lawsuit against the Great River Medical Center (GRMC) and one of the hospital’s emergency room doctors.
Sharon Thye and her family filed a lawsuit on behalf of her deceased husband, William “Bill” Thye, who died of respiratory failure due to blood clots in his lungs.
According to the complaint against James Vandenburg, an emergency room doctor, and the GRMC, Thye alleges that the hospital and Vandenburg were negligent for failing to admit her husband after he went to the emergency room in February 2009 after experiencing shortness of breath. Instead, the hospital sent him home with instructions to follow up with a pulmonary specialist.
Two days after the hospital failed to admit Thye, he died in an ambulance on his way back to the ER.
In order for the plaintiff to prevail, the jury would have to find that the care provided by Vandenburg and the GRMC was below the professional standard of care, which it might be reluctant to do, considering the battery of tests that were done on Thye. According to the medical records, Vandenburg ordered several lab tests, an EKG, chest X-rays, a stress-echo test, and also reviewed the original CT angiogram that Thye received two weeks before he presented at the emergency room.
Under Iowa law, if the jury does not reach a unanimous verdict within the first six hours of deliberations, then only 7 of the twelve-person jury are needed to secure a verdict.
It remains to be seen whether this rule will come into effect as the jury only deliberated 3 hours yesterday, before resuming their deliberations today.
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