The Koblenz upper regional court in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate ruled the patient's surviving relatives have a legal right to compensation for pain and suffering, according to information released on Monday.
At the time of the incident, the 73-year-old patient was taken to the hospital for a heart ailment, and also complained of stomach pains. Doctors diagnosed the complaints as a "psychological problem." The patient actually had a gastric ulcer and he died when it ruptured as a result of the false diagnosis, an autopsy later showed.
The court said the doctors, who should have had the man examined by a specialty surgeon, had too carelessly dismissed the patient's complaints.