HIV-positive American wins $ 18 million in a lawsuit against the clinic
A forty-eight-year-old US resident Sean Stentiford was awarded $ 18 million compensation as a result of the trial in case of the clinic negligence, which failed to properly test him for HIV and to detect the virus in time.
According to PinkNews, the diagnosis not established in time by Lahey Hospital & Medical Center in Burlington, Massachusetts, eventually caused the development of AIDS and caused the patient's health irreparable damage, because of which he lost his job as a lawyer. The court found the plaintiff's complaint is well-grounded and ordered to pay $ 18 million compensation to Stentiford.
“He had a brilliant future in front of him. They literally cut the legs out from under him,” his lawyer, David Angueira, commented on Stentiford's position. “He lost his job. He lost his career. He lost his life.”
As it was shown during the trial, Stentiford signed the consent form in 2007 for an HIV test. At the time, according to the witnesses, some of his symptoms were “highly suggestive of HIV infection”.
Despite this, Stentiford's attending physician did not make the necessary tests and did not inform the patient about the results of the diagnosis.
Meanwhile, Stentiford had at least several reasons to worry about his HIV status. As his lawyer said, Stentiford's sexuality and his former professional occupation as a paramedic were two factors that meant he should have been regularly tested for HIV.
However, during the court proceedings it was found that Stentiford's neurologist Kinan K. Hreib decided against testing the patient, stating that there was no risk of HIV.
In June 2007, the plaintiff learned from another of his doctors (primary care), Stephen Southard, that his results looked good. However, this did not apply to HIV tests, which Stantiford did not know.
The positive status of Stantiford was revealed only three years later, when the virus reached the stage of AIDS and caused irreversible reactions in the brain. This affected the thinking ability of Stantiford and was the reason for the loss of job.
As the lawyer of the plaintiff clarified, he is now undergoes medical treatment and no longer suffers from AIDS-related symptoms.
Chris Murphy, spokesperson for Lahey Center, said that the clinic would be appealing the court’s decision.
Since 2006, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has urged that people between 13-and-64 years of age be tested for HIV at least once.
Gay and bisexual people were advised to take tests every year.