Physician At Swedish Medical Centre Found Negligent

A Vietnamese guy, Tri Hoang’s family living in Seattle has been given $5.39 million by a jury on August 30, 2007 as an emergency-room physician working at Swedish Medical Center is found guilty of medical negligence after a patient died four days after visiting the hospital’s emergency room.
Tri Hoang aged 30 died on August 21, 2004 of an aortic rupture occurring as a tear in the major artery coming from the heart. Four days after visiting the hospital’s emergency room, the family’s attorney, Felix Luna of the Peterson, Young, Putra law firm.
Luna said Hoang visited the emergency room with pain and was seen by Dr. Grace Dy, who prescribed heartburn medication and sent him home. Two days later, Hoang went to the University of Washington Medicine-Belltown Clinic, where he was diagnosed with a heart infection. He died two days later. The suit claimed the tear subsequently found in his aorta should have been discovered four days earlier while he was at Swedish, Luna said.
Hoang’s sister, Marie Hoang, filed the lawsuit against Dr. Grace Dy and the UW clinic. The jury trial began July 30. On August 28, 2007, the jury found Dr. Grace Dy negligent, clearing the UW clinic of any wrongdoing.
“We are very happy with the verdict, which validated a major loss for his family,” said Luna, who added that jurors spent two hours after the trial talking to attorneys on both sides about the case and about Hoang. Tri Hoang was described by Luna as a highly skilled computer systems engineer who supported several members of his family, including a younger brother. 
 Dr. Grace Dy’s attorney, David Martin of Lee Smart, P.S. Inc., said that the verdict was an “unfortunate circumstance.” He said that they are reviewing options for an appeal. “Dr. Grace Dy is a fine physician, and we believe she complied with the standard of care,” Martin said. A spokeswoman for Swedish declined to comment.
“Because Swedish was not named as a party in this case, we feel it is inappropriate to comment, except to say this is a tragedy for all,” said communications director Melissa Tizon. Tizon said although Dy was working in the hospital’s emergency room, she was technically not a Swedish employee, because the hospital contracts emergency room doctor services through a company called Seattle Emergency Physicians.

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