In the News

Judge orders state to pay $3.3 million for woman’s death

By Daniel Tepfer, CT Post
Friday, August 10, 2018

BRIDGEPORT – The state was ordered Friday to pay $3.3 million to the family of a 23-year-old woman who died shortly after being treated at the University of Connecticut Health Center in 2012.

Following trial, Superior Court Judge Cesar Noble found doctors at the medical center committed medical malpractice in the death of Marguerite Miceli and awarded her family $1.3 million in economic damages, and $2 million in noneconomic damages.

“The tragedy is that UConn was the only hospital Marguerite trusted, and they not only turned their back on her in her hour of need, they abused her trust even after her death in an effort to avoid accountability,” said her family’s lawyer, Joshua Koskoff.

State officials did not immediately comment on the verdict.

In September 2012, Miceli, a pharmacy student at St. Joseph’s College, was driven to the UConn Health Center emergency room by her mother, according to the lawsuit against the state hospital. Miceli suffered from lupus – an autoimmune disease that required monitoring and symptom management and which sometimes caused her to be short of breath.

On that night, however, Miceli arrived at the emergency department with severe shortness of breath that had been worsening, coupled with an alarming episode of neurologic symptoms – one side of her face went numb and her speech became slurred – the suit states.

According to the lawsuit, the symptoms required the emergency room doctor to order a routine blood test, which would have revealed that Miceli was suffering from a blood disorder that is fatal if not treated promptly. But the suit states that the test was not ordered and Miceli was discharged.

She returned to the hospital 32 hours later, but it was too late to save her life, the suit states.

“Unfortunately, UConn did everything in its power to avoid owning up to the poor care they gave Marguerite,” said Koskoff, who tried the case with Katie Mesner-Hage. “They defended their decision to withhold the most routine test in medicine; they claimed Marguerite was going to die even with treatment, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary; and they even tried to convince Marguerite’s treating doctors to testify against her without authorization from her family.”

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