Manitoba

Court awards Winnipeg man $700K after failed tuberculosis diagnosis

A man who was diagnosed with tuberculosis as a teen has been awarded $700,000 after court ruled the hospital failed to diagnose it quickly enough.

Seven Oaks General Hospital ordered to pay for damages, lost earning capacity

Seven Oaks General Hospital was ordered to pay Alexander Lantin $700,000, reduced from an initial award of $1.3 million. (Julianne Runne/CBC)

A man who was stricken with tuberculosis as a teen has been awarded $700,000 after Manitoba's Court of Appeal ruled the hospital failed to diagnose it quickly enough.

Alexander Lantin was 16 when he was taken to Seven Oaks General Hospital several times for various flu-like symptoms, according to the decision rendered by the court. In April of 2008, Lantin had a chest X-ray and the radiologist wrote a report, stating that tuberculosis could be a cause.

That report was misfiled, and no follow-up was done, according to the court's decision.

In July of 2008, an MRI showed Lantin had lesions in his brain, ultimately causing a stroke and grand mal seizures.

Lantin, a math whiz who had dreams of being an accountant or actuary, was never the same again. Complex mathematics was now out of his grasp, and his motor skills were affected.

He applied to the University of Manitoba and graduated with a degree in social work, but found the amount of driving needed to be a case worker with Child and Family Services "physically and mentally exhausting."

He has since found a job in an administrative role.

Lantin sued Seven Oaks General Hospital for failing to diagnose his illness in a timely manner, claiming a loss of income in his career in social work instead of accounting, as well as punitive damages.

He was initially awarded $1.3 million.

The hospital appealed that decision, and its case was heard in January. 

In its decision, the Manitoba Court of Appeal reduced the amount of money awarded to Lantin to $700,000, saying the trial judge did not give a full explanation of "how the figure of $1.3 million was determined." 

A spokesperson for Seven Oaks General Hospital and Richard Beamish, Lantin's lawyer, both declined to comment. 

Lantin could not be reached for comment. His mother Jocelyn, who launched the suit on his behalf, refused to comment Tuesday.