Widow Receives Settlement From Hospital

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The Norwalk Hour

April 16, 1997

Norwalk Hospital and three local physicians settled a lawsuit filed by Nancy Ferrente of Norwalk, whose husband Angelo died of a heart attack in January 1990 after his condition was misdiagnosed. Dr. Martin Krauthamer, Chief of Cardiology at Norwalk Hospital, Dr. William Hale, gastroenterologist, and Dr. James Griffith, now retired, were named in the suit. The amount of the settlement was not disclosed.

Angelo had been discharged from Norwalk Hospital two weeks before his death because doctors thought he was only suffering from a gastrointestinal ailment.

During the trial, Nancy Ferrente's attorney, James Horowitz, said that Angelo had complained of chest pains on three separate visits to the offices of Dr. James Griffith. The first visit was in the fall of 1989 and the subsequent visits were following the brief period of hospitalization. The physician said that he "did not take Ferrente's complaints to be symptoms of heart problems." Angelo died two days after his third visit to Dr. Griffith.

To further substantiate Ferrente's case, Horowitz said an electrocardiogram (EKG) had been ordered while Angelo was in Norwalk Hospital and was stamped by Dr. Krauthamer; Dr. Krauthamer denied ever seeing the test and claimed that, against hospital policy, a secretary in the cardiology department had affixed his signature stamp.