Fitzsimmons

Wear

WHEELING – An Ohio County jury recently awarded $4.2 million to the estate of a woman in a medical malpractice case.

A wrongful death suit was filed by the estate of Terri K. Hiam against Dr. Stephen Heirendt and EMPG of West Virginia Inc.

Hiam, who lived in Tiltonsville, Ohio, went to Wheeling Hospital on Feb. 11, 2009, presenting with chest pains. Heirendt was the physician on her case. The suit, filed by Hiam's husband Timothy, says she didn't receive proper cardiac testing. And the family claims that failure to follow standards of care led to her fatal heart attack 11 days later at the age of 43.

The Hiam family was represented by Wheeling attorneys Bob Fitzsimmons and Brent Wear of The Fitzsimmons Law Firm.

"Although a life was taken and can never be replaced, this verdict will hopefully be used in the medical community to teach others and avoid a similar tragedy," Fitzsimmons said.

Wear agreed.

"This verdict demonstrates that our juries recognize and appreciate the value of a human life," he said.

The jury awarded $1.5 million to Hiam's family for sorrow, mental anguish and solace and another $1.5 million for the loss of services, protection and care provided by her. It also awarded $300,000 in loss of household services and $872,000 in lost wages and earning capacity as well as more than $10,000 in funeral and medical expenses.

Ohio Circuit Court case number: 10-C-123M

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