Young Children of Deceased Philadelphia Man Win $6.4 Million with the Help of Matt Casey


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June 4, 2012 – The five minor children of a man who died due to medical malpractice were awarded $6.4 million from a Philadelphia jury.

The verdict in Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Rosalyn K. Robinson's courtroom was reached after a seven-day trial and six hours of deliberations.

The plaintiff's attorney, Matt Casey, indicated the award was one of the largest of its kind in recent years in the state.

Derek Harlem, 37, was taken by ambulance to Temple's emergency room after experiencing chest pains while playing basketball on May 31, 2009. Despite clear symptoms of heart problems, he was given the diagnosis of pneumonia and discharged without full testing.

Just three months later, on Aug. 20, 2009, Harlem had a heart attack. He was resuscitated and taken to Temple, where a total blockage of the left anterior descending coronary artery was found.

He was placed on a ventilator on Nov. 12, 2009, and later died. The plaintiffs alleged that a basic cardio workup would have shown a lesion on one of Harlem's arteries and that treatment could have prevented the fatal heart attack.

The plaintiffs indicated that it was the failure to perform the standard of care necessary for Harlem in the original emergency room visit that led to this heart attack. The defense argued that his symptoms were in line with the pneumonia diagnosis.

Disclaimer: Ross Feller Casey, LLP provides legal advice only after an attorney-client relationship is formed. Our website is an introduction to the firm and does not create a relationship between our attorneys and clients. An attorney-client relationship is formed only after a written agreement is signed by the client and the firm. Because every case is unique, the description of awards and summary of cases successfully handled are not intended to imply or guarantee that same success in other cases. Ross Feller Casey, LLP represents catastrophically injured persons and their families in injury and wrongful death cases, providing legal representation in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.