In the medical field, time is of the essence. A missed lab test, missed antibiotic, delayed radiology exam or a failure to diagnose can mean life or death for many patients. Families in Massachusetts may be interested in one family’s recent lawsuit against a medical center and its medical director. The family is claiming that negligence to perform a test in a timely manner may have led to their loved one’s death.

The facility in question is one that specifically cares for veterans. The family’s lawsuit is not the only lawsuit involving the facility, as 12 other families are also in a lawsuit regarding the care of their loved ones over a similar issue. The family, along with the other families, are claiming that the facility and the director did not properly test patients for a serious form of pneumonia called Legionnaires’ disease. The disease is caused by inhaling particles of water that contain the bacteria Legionella. Not only had the facility had dozens of outbreaks over a period of years, and at least 13 deaths, but the CDC had also reported that the facility may never be able to get rid of the bacteria in its water.

The most recent lawsuit has been filed because the family of a deceased patient feels a test on their deceased loved one was not performed early enough. A test for Legionnaires’ disease was ordered but not performed until a doctor caught the mistake three days later. A second test was ordered and executed, and the test results were positive for Legionnaires. Sadly, the patient died approximately eight hours after he or she was confirmed to have the serious case of pneumonia.

When a family discovers that a failure to diagnose in a timely manner may have been the reason for a loved one’s death, it is difficult to process. Many families find comfort in seeking the assistance of a medical malpractice attorney in Massachusetts to file a lawsuit. A lawsuit cannot bring back a loved one, but sometimes, it offers a sense of closure to some families.