Jury orders former ER doctor to pay $2M after failing to diagnose patient who later died

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CALHOUN COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — A Calhoun County jury has ordered a former physician at Regional Medical Center to pay $2 million in damages to a woman who claims his failure to diagnose her husband in 2014 caused his death.

Dr. Jean Perez was found responsible for not ordering a color Doppler ultrasound for 60-year-old John Townsend after he was admitted to the ER. Townsend later bled to death from a ruptured pseudoaneurysm the very next morning.

Perez was ordered to pay the $2 million to Townsend’s widow, Angela, who filed the lawsuit in 2016. Angela Townsend initially sued Perez, Dr. Brian Greene and RMC but later released RMC and settled with Greene for $1 million.

“This case was about accountability,” said Townsend’s attorney Shay Samples. “Dr. Perez refused to accept his professional responsibility for his role in causing John’s death. The jury spoke loud and clear that this kind of conduct is unacceptable. John’s death was preventable. Hopefully, the jury’s verdict will prevent a tragedy like this from occurring again in the future.”

John Townsend complained of a painful, softball-sized lump in his right groin before being admitted to the ER. Doctors gave Townsend a CT scan, which identified the lump as a fluid collection but did not perform the color Doppler ultrasound needed to diagnose the lump as a deadly pseudoaneurysm.

John Townsend was released at 11 p.m. that night and died the next morning.

“I just don’t want anyone to go through what I went through,” said Angela Townsend. “That’s just plain and simple. There’s no sense in what we went through, and it needs to be taken care of.”

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