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Fatal Bee Sting Case Settled Out of Court

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A fatal bee sting trial settles out of court for one of the two physicians involved in a misdiagnosed claim on a 40-year-old man in Sussex, NJ. Physician Harvey Beckman reached a confidential settlement with the bee sting victim’s widow, Melissa Hensley, as announced by the judge to the jurors.  The physicians ruled out the man having an allergic reaction to a bee sting and stated his illness was from a heatstroke.

Beckman treated bee sting victim, William Hensley, on July 2005 after he had fell unconscious in his yard while mowing the lawn.  A nearby neighbour, Kathy Adzima, spotted a swarm of bees around the collapsed Hensley and had him rushed to the hospital after she noticed Hensley foaming at the mouth.

Adzima testified that when she spoke to the physicians at the hospital, she told them about the bees around the lawn mower and Hensley having a possible allergic reaction to the sting. Adzima claimed Melissa was told that her doctors did not consider an allergic reaction from the bee sting because a bee sting was not visible on his body. The physicians testified that they were never told about a possible bee sting and put their attention on his ailment being from a seizure, heart attack or stroke.

Hensley died on August 20, 2005 from anaphylactic shock, a severe allergic reaction caused by the bee stings. Hensley’s attorney, Dennis Donnelly, claims that the allergic reaction was ignored by both physicians as a reason for his collapse and their rule out of this possibility was the cause of his death a month later after he was rushed to the emergency room. Donnelly believes Hensley could have been saved if diagnosed accurately.

The other defendant, ER physician Allen remains on trial and testimony began on June 9th, 2010.

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