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Local News

October 3, 2012

Fox Hospital hit with $126M verdict

(Continued)

Though there were clear symptoms that she was having cardiac problems, he said, Sohl was given anti-anxiety medication and admitted over night without being treated for the heart condition.

“There was testimony in the case that she was the victim of age and gender bias,” Linnan told The Daily Star. To the Fox emergency room staffers, he said, “she was just some anxious female — and God knows females don’t have heart attacks.”

Linnan said Sohl’s condition worsened because of the delay in properly diagnosing her condition. “The more time, the more tissue damage,” he said.

The morning after she was admitted, Sohl’s now-former husband, Vincent Herrmann, who had experienced his own heart attack, convinced his cardiac specialist, Dr. Anthony Cammilleri, to examine his wife, Linnan said.

Linnan said Cammilleri went to Fox, “took one look at the patient” and determined she needed to be rushed by ambulance to UHS Wilson Medical Center in Johnson City, he said. That hospital, he added, was equipped with a cardiac catheter laboratory, which Fox lacked.

In the civil trial, Cammilleri, who is an attending physician at Fox, became a subpoenaed witness who testified on behalf of Sohl, he noted.

“He saved the woman’s life and then he went into court and testified against his own hospital,” Linnan said. “He wouldn’t take a dime for his testimony.”

The trial testimony focused on the actions of three Fox doctors, all of whom were initially named as defendants, Linnan said. The lawyer said that, before heading to trial, he revised the case to make Fox the sole defendant.

Linnan said the evidence faulted: Dr. James L. Rice, the emergency room physician who first examined Sohl; Dr. Blaine R. Jones, a doctor who examined Sohl after she was admitted and assigned a room that afternoon; and Dr. Maciej Nowakowski; who observed Sohl late that night and the following morning before her transfer to Wilson.

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