Doctor, Clinic to Pay $1.7 Million for Misdiagnosing ‘Leaky Valve’

Doctor, Clinic to Pay $1.7 Million for Misdiagnosing 'Leaky Valve'A Montana woman and her four children will receive $1.7 million in compensation from the doctor and clinic a jury held responsible for her husband's death of a heart valve condition.

Gerard "Gerry" Heidt sought treatment for chest pain at Billings Clinic, where Dr. Faranak Argani diagnosed him, according to the Billings Gazette. Argani diagnosed this condition as a torn muscle, and the Heidt family claimed that the pain was caused by a "leaky valve" and that Argani should have referred his patient to a heart specialist. Heidt died one year later because he was misdiagnosed and thus failed to receive a replacement valve, the medical malpractice lawsuit claimed.

The jury ruled that Argani did not properly monitor Heidt, and awarded his widow and children more than $1.7 million, which is divided into $1.6 million for lost wages and $120,000 for the children's college education, the news source reports.

"It doesn’t bring him back, but it sure helps them financially," said Amy Heidt's medical malpractice attorney. "It’s been a long time coming. Amy has four children, one of whom is a special needs child."

A leaky valve, also known as valvular insufficiency, refers to a medical condition characterized by a heart valve that does not close completely, according to WebMD. As a result, blood leaks back through the valve. As the leak worsens, the heart has to pump harder to distribute blood to the body's tissues.