Jury says doctor failed to detect heart trouble

June 25, 1991

A Pikesville man whose impending heart attack was misdiagnosed as a gastric disorder was awarded $2.3 million yesterday by a Baltimore Circuit Court jury.

The jury found Jay H. Mandell's doctor, Stephen Glasser, guilty of malpractice for failing to recognize that his 43-year-old patient was about to suffer a heart attack in 1986.

Mr. Mandell, who is permanently disabled from the damage to his heart, went to the doctor on Nov. 25, 1986, complaining of chest pains and pain radiating into his left arm, his lawyer, Marvin Ellin, said. Mr. Mandell was seen by one of Dr. Glasser's associates, Kenneth Zonies, who diagnosed a gastric disorder and prescribed medication for gastric acidity.

Dr. Glasser agreed with that diagnosis in two telephone conversations with Mr. Mandell later that day and referred him to a gastrointestinal specialist, Mr. Ellin said.

On Nov. 26, the specialist inserted a tube into Mr. Mandell's stomach to check for ulcers or inflammation of the esophagus and then sent him home. Mr. Mandell had a heart attack the following day, causing permanent damage to his heart, Mr. Ellin said.

Mr. Mandell's disability forced him to sell his business at a loss, his lawyer said.

James Chason, who represents Dr. Glasser and his Pikesville professional association, said his clients will appeal the verdict based on "errors" in the way the trial was conducted before Judge John N. Prevas. Dr. Glasser also will seek a reduction of the award because the $1 million pain and suffering portion exceeds the $350,000 limit set by state law, Mr. Chason said.

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