Facts: A 48 y.o. woman noticed a red mark on her arm that resembled a mosquito bite but had a white center. She also felt like her immune system was down and she was having flu like symptoms. After two days of it getting bigger she went her doctor thinking she was having a reaction to the bite. The doctor noted that it was in fact a reaction to a bite and not harmful. He gave her a topical ointment to treat hives and no tests were taken.
Injuries and consequences: The following days brought about fever and chills. She went to a different doctor for a second opinion. The doctor said it was from a tick bite and after running tests saw that she had developed Lyme disease. In the weeks that followed she had suffered from joint pain, shortness of breath and episodes of dizziness.
Arguments of the defendant: The plaintiff had said she was bit by a mosquito and that her reaction of headache and fever can be associated with an allergic reaction. The plaintiff did not mention she had been in facility where ticks are present.
Our arguments: Doctors are responsible for diagnosing patients and they can’t go based on the plaintiff’s assumption that it was a mosquito bite. A bull’s-eye is indicative of a tick bite in almost all insect bite cases and therefore she should have received a blood test to check if her reaction was due to Lyme disease. Failure to diagnose resulted in more time for the disease to worsen of which she suffered from physical and emotional distress due to symptoms.
Result: The plaintiff was awarded $1,500,000 for the defendant’s failure to run medical tests and notice evident sign of what is a symptom of Lyme disease.