Mrs. Iozzi was an elderly woman who had some back pain. She saw the defendant doctor who ordered prescriptions for pain, but did not order any x-rays or any other type of testing to determine the cause of the back pain.
A week later, Mrs. Iozzi pain worsened and she called the defendant doctor who did not want to see her in the office, but rather ordered a stronger pain medication.
Another week later, an even stronger prescription was ordered, without examination and finally, the next week, Vicodin (extra strength) was ordered, again without examination. Throughout this period, the defendant doctor did not return any of Mrs. Iorio’s calls requesting alternative treatment.
Over the next several days, Mrs. Iozzi was unable to move and she was taken the hospital where a CT scan revealed a burst fracture of the lower vertebrae, causing paralysis of her lower body. Surgery was performed; however, she was never able to regain mobility and, after several months of treatment at various nursing homes, she died of cardiopulmonary failure.
A lawsuit was filed in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania against the defendant doctor for his failure to examine Mrs. Iorio, to take an x-ray or to order any tests to determine the cause of her pain, for treating her by telephone, continuing to order progressively stronger prescriptions without an office visit and for not properly caring for his patient.
The defendants argued that Mrs. Iozzi’s condition was going to happen regardless of care and, after a jury was selected, a substantial settlement was reached.