Advocating for Misdiagnosed Patients in New York

Bacterial meningitis is a serious medical condition, but it is 100% treatable if doctors follow procedure. Doctors should carefully review a patient’s symptoms, run the proper tests, rule out similar diseases like viral meningitis or influenza, and administer antibiotics as soon as possible. Failing to follow proper procedures or misdiagnosing a patient can lead to traumatic injuries to the patient, including brain damage, hearing loss, and other disabilities, as well as death.

If you or someone you love suffered meningitis due to medical negligence, reach out to our team at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP. Our experienced New York meningitis misdiagnosis attorneys can review the cause of your injuries and advocate for full compensation from the at-fault hospital. We have more than 50 years of experience investigating medical malpractice claims and can provide the strong legal representation you need during this difficult time. To get a free case evaluation, call us at (212) 986-7353.

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What Is Meningitis?

Meningitis is a type of inflammation that impacts the membranes around the brain and spinal cord, resulting in severe swelling that can cause serious injuries and long-term medical conditions. Meningitis is typically caused by a viral or bacterial infection, but can also occur due to parasites or fungus. While every case is serious, bacterial meningitis can be deadly and should be treated immediately.

Bacterial meningitis can lead to:

  • Brain damage caused by hydrocephalus or encephalitis
  • Epilepsy
  • Seizures
  • Sepsis
  • Paralysis and muscle weakness
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Vision loss
  • Hearing loss
  • Memory problems
  • Clumsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Light sensitivity
  • Mental health issues like depression
  • Death

Viral meningitis is less serious and is rarely fatal, but shares many symptoms with bacterial meningitis. Due to this, a doctor may misdiagnose bacterial meningitis as viral meningitis, leading to delayed medical treatment and serious injuries for the patient.

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How Is Meningitis Diagnosed?

In the early stages, meningitis can present like the flu, with patients developing the following symptoms:

  • High fever
  • Severe headaches
  • Confusion and difficulties keeping focus
  • Fatigue or difficulty waking up
  • Light sensitivity
  • Lack of appetite
  • Stiff neck
  • Seizures
  • Nausea and vomiting

Symptoms for meningitis can appear within three to seven days after exposure. Doctors can diagnose meningitis by reviewing a patient’s symptoms and with several tests, such as taking blood samples and collecting cerebrospinal fluid from the spine by performing a lumbar puncture. A lumbar puncture can reveal whether a patient is suffering from viral or bacterial meningitis, thus allowing doctors to administer the right treatment. However, due to meningitis’s similarities with the flu, some doctors fail to perform these tests and misdiagnose their patients, leading to further trauma.

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What Are the Risks to Infants and Children?

Meningitis is extremely dangerous for children, who have weaker immune systems that put them at risk for serious complications from infections. This also makes them more likely to contract meningitis, which is spread from person to person, whether viral or bacterial.

Newborns are also an at-risk group for meningitis, but their symptoms may vary compared to adults’. According to the CDC, symptoms of bacterial meningitis in newborns include:

  • Appearing slow or inactive
  • Abnormal reflexes
  • Irritability and crying
  • Vomiting
  • Refusing to eat or difficulties eating
  • Fevers
  • Nausea
  • Bulging fontanelle (soft spot on an infant’s head)

If a doctor fails to diagnose meningitis in a newborn, it can cause catastrophic birth injuries that cripple the child for life. It is standard procedure to rule out life-threatening diagnoses first, so doctors have no excuse for injuring a child due to medical negligence, and should be held accountable when they do.

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The Dangers of Medical Negligence

If a patient contracts bacterial meningitis, doctors should administer treatment as soon as possible. The risk of death is high with this strain of the disease, especially for newborns and young children. Unfortunately, if a doctor delays in providing a diagnosis, misreads symptoms as the flu or viral meningitis, or does not administer antibiotics quickly enough, the patient could suffer severe brain damage, disabilities, or death.

If you or a family member suffered severe injuries as a result of bacterial meningitis due to a doctor’s poor care, then you deserve full compensation. Bacterial meningitis can forever change your life, causing deafness or brain damage, and you should not have to bear these costs alone. A medical malpractice claim can allow you to recover compensation for your injuries, including:

  • All medical expenses, including past and future treatment
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning potential
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Mental anguish
  • Disabilities and disfigurements

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Holding Negligent Doctors Accountable

No patient should suffer the consequences of bacterial meningitis when a doctor could have prevented them. There are clear protocols for diagnosing and treating meningitis, and a doctor breaking those protocols can cause undue harm to patients. If you or someone you love suffered injury because of a doctor’s failure to diagnose meningitis, contact a New York medical malpractice lawyer at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP, to file a medical malpractice claim.

Our legal team at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP, has spent more than 50 years fighting for patients injured by negligent medical professionals. We have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in medical malpractice and birth injury claims. Let us provide you with the same reliable legal representation. Call us today at (212) 986-7353 to discuss your case in a free consultation.

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Our Medical Malpractice Case Results

$16 Million - Two Medical Malpractice Cases Involving Brain Damage

Phil Russotti recently obtained settlements for two brain damaged individuals and their families totaling guaranteed payouts in excess of $16,000,000.

Philip Russotti

$12.085 Million - Failure to Timely Deliver an Infant

This is a case involving the failure to timely deliver an infant to a first-time mother and resulting in severe brain damage to the child who is now 6 years old.


$10.7 Million - Medical Malpractice Verdict In Queens County, NY

The female plaintiff fell down a flight of stairs at work and suffered a brain herniation that compressed the brain stem, which she contended was due to delayed treatment at the hospital emergency room.


$10.2 Million - Infant Brain Damage Due to Medical Malpractice in New York

New York lawyer, Philip Russotti, won a $10,200,000 settlement for an infant who has catastrophic neurologic injuries caused by brain damage that resulted from herpes that went undiagnosed in 2003.

Philip Russotti

$8.5 Million - Verdict For NY Stroke Victim

A 62 year-old man suffered a stroke following a delay in surgery and discontinuance of a medication (Heparin) which prevents blood clotting.


$6.6 Million - Improperly Performed Spinal Surgeries

At an extensive settlement mediation prior to jury selection, Phil Russotti settled a medical malpractice action on behalf of a old man against his neurosurgeon for improperly performing two spinal fusion surgeries.

Philip Russotti

$6.2 Million - Highest Personal Injury Verdict in Putnam County History

The plaintiff contended that an orthopedic surgeon failed to take a biopsy before performing surgery to remove a suspected Baker's cyst despite signs on MRI that the growth might be malignant.


$6.15 Million - Negligent Administration of Excessive Steroids For Lupus

Philip Russotti obtained a verdict in a case venued and tried in Hawaii, for approximately six weeks. It was a complex medical malpractice case involving an infant plaintiff who sustained numerous permanent injuries.

Philip Russotti

$6.15 Million - Largest Verdict in Hawaii Personal Injury History

Phil Russotti recently obtained the largest jury verdict in Hawaii in a personal injury suit, a $6.15 million dollar verdict for a 14 year old girl who suffered steroid myopathy.

Philip Russotti

$6.1 Million - Union Plumber in Trip-and-Fall, Medical Malpractice Action

Attorneys with Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP, obtained a settlement in the amount of $6,100,000 for a 57-year-old union plumber who tripped and fell at a construction site.

Kenneth Halperin, Jason Rubin

$6 Million - Newborn Who Sustained Brain and Kidney Injuries

The firm settled a case involving a newborn who sustained serious injuries during a double exchange transfusion.


$4.5 Million - New York Medical Malpractice Case

Phil Russotti recently settled a case against five doctors after eight weeks of trial for $4.5 million dollars. The case concerned their failure to timely diagnose appendicitis and operate on a 17 year old boy.

Philip Russotti

$4.25 Million - Client Developed Permanent Steroid Myopathy

Phil Russotti obtained the second largest medical malpractice jury verdict in the State of Hawaii's history on behalf of a young woman who developed steroid myopathy after administration of excessive amounts of steroids.

Philip Russotti

$3.75 Million - Recovery For Disabled Siamese Twin in New York

The firm recently obtained an extraordinary settlement in an extremely difficult medical malpractice case.


$3.5 Million - Medical Malpractice/Wrongful Death for Failure to Diagnose

Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP attorney Jason Rubin obtained a $3.5 million settlement in a case involving the failure to diagnose acute coronary syndrome in a 34-year-old married father of two children.

Jason Rubin

$3 Million - NY Medical Malpractice/Wrongful Death

Just prior to jury selection, Jason Rubin reached a $3 million settlement in a case arising out of the death of a 35 year old, unmarried mother of four.

Jason Rubin

$3 Million - Patient Develops Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis Due to Medication

Jason Rubin successfully represented a young man who experienced a severe case of toxic epidermal necrolysis due to medication.

Jason Rubin

$3 Million - Woman Died of Ovarian Cancer

Phil Russotti and Jason Rubin obtained a $3 million settlement in a medical malpractice/wrongful death case, involving a 59 year old woman who died of ovarian cancer.

Philip Russotti, Jason Rubin

$2.95 Million - Wrongful Death Claim in New York

After a month-long trial and during jury deliberations, Jason Rubin settled a medical malpractice/wrongful death case for $2.95 million.

Jason Rubin

$2.75 Million - Fatal Medical Malpractice

Prior to trial, Jason Rubin obtained a $2.75 million settlement in a medical malpractice case involving injuries sustained by an infant at birth, which lead to his death six years later.

Jason Rubin

Click here to see more NY Medical Malpractice Verdicts & Settlements