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$25,000 Paid for Misdiagnosed Blood Clot

$25,000 paid for misdiagnosed blood clot

In January of 1996, Valerie Bartlett was sent to the WCCW to serve a short prison sentence. Upon arrival, she complained of swollen legs and feet, general fatigue, and chest pains. These symptoms persisted and Ms. Bartlett continued to seek medical attention, but WCCW medical staff refused to examine her or refer her to a doctor. They did, however, tell Ms. Bartlett that her symptoms were "in her head" and subsequently sent her to a psychologist.

Finally, after 7 weeks of suffering, Ms. Bartlett collapsed and was taken to the hospital. Doctors soon discovered that she had a large blood clot in her heart which had caused the left ventricle to swell to twice its normal size, and that her liver and kidneys had begun to shut down. Although she nearly died, doctors were able to stabilize Ms. Bartlett's condition with medication and a proper diet.

Following her release from prison, Ms. Bartlett sued the DOC for medical neglect. The case was settled for $25,000. Ms. Bartlett was represented by attorney W. Russell Van Camp of Spokane. See: Bartlett v. State of Washington, No. 97-2-046593 (Spokane County Superior Court, June 1999).

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Related legal case

Bartlett v. State of Washington