Medical Malpractice Story: Krista Roeper

Krista Roeper28-year-old Krista Roeper died in May 2001 after a Delaware doctor failed to diagnose her colon cancer. She had seen her doctor 12 times in two years, complaining of rectal bleeding during 11 of those visits, but he never referred her for any other tests or exams. Finding that the doctor had committed malpractice, a jury awarded $4 million in compensatory damages to Krista and $1 million for loss of consortium to her husband, Steve. When delivering its verdict, the jury read a statement aloud in court asking that the doctor be required to take a course medical ethics and not be allowed to practice medicine alone "to ensure proper continuity of care, in the future, will be provided to all his patients." Needing money for Krista's medical care, the Roepers settled the case for $1.2 million. Delaware's attorney general had planned to bring charges against the doctor after the State Board of Medical Examiners failed to rule on his behavior. The attorney general was forced to drop the charges after the state's best witness, Krista Roeper, died from cancer.

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