Meningitis Misdiagnosis | Baltimore Maryland Lawsuit

Digiglio v. Sinai Hospital

This is a failure to diagnose meningitis case filed on behalf of a University of Loyola student who is originally from New Jersey. This lawsuit was filed in Health Claims Arbitration on February 4, 2016. It is the 53rd medical malpractice lawsuit filed in Maryland in 2016. The case number is 24C16000595.

Summary of Plaintiff's Allegations

Plaintiff is a student at Loyola University. She wakes up one morning around 9:00 a.m. complaining of a fever, a piercing headache, neck pain, eye pain, and extreme sensitivity to light. She calls the Student Health Center, describes her symptoms, and is told to wait until 3:30 p.m. for an appointment.

While waiting for her appointment, she goes in and out of consciousness, begins projectile vomiting, and her roommate calls campus police to escort them to the Health Center as she is unable to walk at this point. As they arrive at the Health Center, the staff tells them they should wait in the waiting room to be seen in the 'usual course.' During her exam, the Plaintiff struggles to verbalize answers to questions, is unable to keep her head up, and her back, neck, and spine are seizing. Despite these symptoms, the doctors diagnose her with the flu and prescribe Tamiflu, sending her back to her dorm room.

The Plaintiff's roommate becomes insistent that she needs to go to the hospital, and the staff at the Health Center finally agree when the student's eyes continually roll back, and begin preparing her for transport. She arrives at Greater Baltimore Medical Center, minimally responsive, and the physicians immediately presume she has meningitis, which is later confirmed with cerebrospinal fluid. She is in a coma for several days, and is then transferred to in-patient rehabilitation for several weeks as she had a cognitive disorder involving mental processing and visuospatial construction abilities. She still suffers from residual impairment after this incident.

The Plaintiff files medical malpractice claims in Baltimore City, alleging that the Defendants deviated from the standard of care when they failed to realize her symptoms were consistent with meningitis, failed to treat her promptly, and misdiagnosed her with the flu. As a result, she suffers short-term, long-term, and permanent effects of bacterial meningitis which could have been avoided or lessened.

Additional Comments
  1. There are out-of-state plaintiffs' lawyers involved with in this case which is probably why a John Doe doctor was sued. Most states allow you to name an unknown doctor as "John Doe." Maryland does not.
  2. This case was originally filed "pro se" which means the victim filed herself without a lawyer. Since the filing of the suit, a lawyer has come on board to represent this woman.
  3. What has not been filed yet is a certificate of merit to certify the claim. This must be before August 7, 2016.
Jurisdiction
  • Baltimore City
Defendants
  • Two Nurse Practitioners
  • John Doe, M.D. (unknown provider)
  • Loyola University Maryland
  • Sinai Hospital of Baltimore
  • Lifebridge Health
Hospitals Where Patient Was Treated
  • Sinai Hospital of Baltimore
  • Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC)
Negligence
  • College StudentFailure to diagnose properly and recognize the urgency of the patient's condition
Specific Counts Pled
  1. Medical negligence
Plaintiff's Experts and Areas of Specialty
  • Motion to extend
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