Texas Doctor Failed To Test For Deadly Heart Condition Resulting In Wrongful Death
A jury awarded $3.5 million to the family of a man who died from an undiagnosed heart condition. In 2006, Darrick Stephens, 32, a married father of two young boys, died of heart failure. An autopy revealed a pheochromocytoma, an adrenaline-producing tumor, which stressed his heart and caused his death. On two occasions in the months before his death, Stephens went to Dr. Neeta Bavikati at Dallas Cardiology Associates with complaints of headaches, heart palpitations, shortness of breath and chest pains. Stephens' family claimed Bavikati failed to order tests for the deadly heart condition and failed to tell Stephens to have the tests done. They sued Bavikati and the clinic for $1.6 million, alleging the tests would have uncovered the condition and allowed treatment in time to prevent Stephens' death. Bavikati argued that she advised Stephens to be tested for the condition, but that he failed to do so.