The family of a North Huntingdon man has sued a medical urgent care facility claiming a staff doctor misdiagnosed a heart condition that ultimately led to his death.
A two-count wrongful death lawsuit filed this week in Westmoreland County claims that William Burkus, 54, went to the MedExpress Urgent Care facility on Route 30 on Dec. 16, 2010, complaining of shoulder and neck pain.
Officials with MedExpress, which is based in Morgantown, W.Va., did not return a telephone call seeking comment.
According to the lawsuit, a staff physician conducted an electrocardiogram on Burkus that was found to be abnormal. The doctor diagnosed Burkus as suffering from "acute trapezius muscle spasm."
Burkus was sent home and instructed to apply ice and heat to his shoulder, and was given prescriptions for pain medications, his family claims.
Two days later, in the early morning of Dec. 18, Burkus died, his family claims.
"After cleaning the bathroom, Mrs. Burkus came out into the bedroom and told her husband that she was going to go downstairs because she could not fall back to sleep. Those were the last words that Mrs. Burkus ever spoke to her husband," according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleges that MedExpress was negligent in failing to hire doctors with proper training and not capable of correctly diagnosing Burkus' cardiac condition. The care provider did not properly refer Burkus to a hospital emergency room for additional cardiac evaluation and treatment, the lawsuit contends.
The Burkus family is seeking an unspecified amount in damages.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.