A man who sued two doctors for failing to test him for HIV was awarded $18.4 million by a federal jury. The man was eventually diagnosed with HIV and the virus progressed in his system into AIDS.
The man consented to be tested for HIV in 2007 but one of the doctors that were treating him decided he wasn't at risk for HIV.
Awarded $18.4 Million After Doctors Don't Test Him For AIDS
A federal jury ruled in favor of Sean Stentiford for doctors failing to test him for HIV. Stentiford filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against internist Stephen Southard and neurologist Kian Hreib. Stentiford's lawyers argued that even though he had risk factors that made him more vulnerable to contracting HIV, he wasn't tested for it.
His lawyer told the court that Stentiford was more likely to develop AIDS due to the fact that he is gay and that he works as a paramedic. As a paramedic, Stentiford was regularly exposed to bodily fluids. Stentiford says that he originally consented to an HIV test in 2007 but was told he didn't need it.
Stentiford did take an HIV test in 2010 at the recommendation of another doctor. The test at that time came back positive for HIV. At this point, the disease had progressed into AIDS. It caused Stentiford brain damage and it forced him to end his career as a lawyer.
During the trial in US District Court, both doctors were found of being negligent when caring for Stentiford. The court also found another doctor, Daniel P. McQuillen, was negligent in taking care of Stentiford but that he didn't cause him any harm.
Stentiford originally went to see Southard and Hreib in 2007 after experiencing facial paralysis. He signed a consent form to be tested for HIV because a resident had told him that his symptoms could be suggestive of HIV infection. Hreib canceled the test because he thought that there was no risk of HIV but he never told Stentiford.
Southard was Stentiford's primary care doctor and told him that his tests looked good. At the time, Stentiford believed that those tests included HIV testing.
Stentiford doesn't suffer from AIDS-related symptoms due to the medication that he takes. His lawyer revealed that Stentiford felt numb when the jury found the doctors guilty of medical malpractice.
The doctors no longer work for the hospital where the malpractice took place. The third doctor McQuillan is still on staff at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center.