Steve Snyder has actively litigated and tried civil cases for 30 years and has focused almost exclusively on representing and defending physicians, hospitals, nurses and other medical providers in a wide range of medical negligence and healthcare lawsuits since 1995. Additionally, he has represented physicians in matters before the state medical board, served as hospital counsel in regulatory and compliance matters, authored numerous hospital and medical care provider policies, guidelines and patient consents, and defended pharmaceutical and products liability cases. He regularly advises hospitals and medical practices on risk management issues and ways to prevent lawsuits while improving patient care and safety. Steve has also been the speaker for numerous medical, hospital and nursing groups and conferences across South Carolina and internationally on risk management and medico-legal issues.

Steve is an ordained elder in his church, actively serves on the boards of several charitable, service and ministry organizations, regularly leads and takes foreign mission trips, plays golf poorly, treasures time with his family and the blessing of great friendships, and feels richly blessed to be able to live and work in Upstate South Carolina.

EDUCATION

  • Liberty University, Bachelor of Science
  • University of Virginia School of Law, Juris Doctor

BAR ADMISSIONS

  • South Carolina, 1988
  • United States District Court for the District of South Carolina
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

Professional Recognition

  • Super Lawyers, 2015-2018
  • Best Lawyers in America, 2017, 2018, 2019
  • Top Attorneys in South Carolina, Columbia Living Magazine, 2015-2018
  • Legal Elite of the Upstate, Greenville Business Magazine, 2013-2018
  • South Carolina’s Exceptional Lawyers 2017 – “The Top 50”, Columbia Living Magazine

Tried and successfully defended a hospital and its OR staff where a patient who underwent surgery on his left shoulder awoke from the procedure with right foot numbness and was ultimately diagnosed with permanent right peroneal nerve injury and foot drop. The plaintiff alleged the medical providers were negligent in positioning and failing to monitor the patient during surgery. The jury deliberated only 23 minutes before returning a unanimous verdict for the defense.

Steve Snyder

Obtained summary judgment in favor of a hospital sued by a woman who entered the hospital to provide professional counseling services to a trauma patient but then slipped, fell and injured herself in a hospital common area. The plaintiff alleged she slipped on a wet and sticky substance on the floor as a result of the hospital’s failure to discover and remove the alleged unsafe substance and/or its failure to properly warn of the alleged unsafe condition. Following depositions and discovery, counsel filed a Motion for Summary judgment showing that the plaintiff failed to produce evidence of the alleged unsafe substance and, further, that the hospital appropriately maintained the area in question pursuant to proper policies, protocols and practices. The Court granted the hospital’s motion and dismissed the case.

Steve Snyder, David Williford

Successfully represented a nephrologist in a matter heard by the full Board of Medical Examiners of the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation, arising out of a complaint over the physician’s treatment of a dialysis patient who had developed a skin lesion that had assumed a facial dermatomal distribution and was diagnosed with herpes zoster (shingles). Because of the inefficacy of an antibiotic cream and concern for the patient’s immunosuppressed condition with the potential for his herpes zoster to progress to disseminated herpes with cerebritis, the physician prescribed a strong dose of oral Valtrex, three times daily, that was to be tapered down. The next day, the patient presented to a hospital emergency department, was initially diagnosed with possible herpes encephalitis, treated with empiric antibiotics and anti-viral IV Acyclovir (an anti-viral with the same active metabolite as Valtrex), admitted for a total of six days, and was eventually thought to have Acyclovir intoxication that was relieved by dialysis. The defense established the reasoning for the treatment approach and showed that any Acyclovir intoxication, which was the reason for the complaint, was not the result of the physician’s treatment. Unanimously, the full Board of Medical Examiners dismissed the Complaint.

Steve Snyder

Favorably resolved a wrongful death action against a cardiologist who allegedly prescribed an excessive amount of amiodarone to a male patient to keep his heart in normal sinus rhythm after an electric cardioversion. After six months of amiodarone therapy, the patient rapidly developed acute respiratory distress syndrome and did not improve when the amiodarone was discontinued. His workup for possible amiodarone-induced lung toxicity was equivocal. Two experts in cardiology opined that the amiodarone dose prescribed by the defendant was appropriate and within the prevailing clinical guidelines, and experts in pulmonology and pulmonary pathology opined that the patient’s death most likely was not due to amiodarone toxicity but to either a bacterial or viral infection. A few months before trial, the case was favorably resolved at mediation.

Steve Snyder, Trip Lehn

Obtained a jury verdict for an anesthesiologist who was sued for allegedly failing to perform an adequate pre-procedure cardiac workup and allegedly failing to adequately conduct the anesthesia. The patient suffered respiratory arrest shortly after induction and at the beginning of the procedure. He was promptly resuscitated and admitted, but remained unresponsive and subsequently died a few days later following another arrest.

Steve Snyder

Obtained a defense verdict for a surgeon and hospital where a patient suffered complications and a difficult course following gastric bypass surgery. The plaintiff alleged that the surgeon was negligent in performing the surgery and that he and hospital personnel were negligent in failing to timely recognize and repair a post-operative gastric leak. The defense established that the complication was a rare but recognized risk of the procedure and that it was timely and appropriately discovered and managed.

Steve Snyder

Successfully defended a general surgeon whose patient died suddenly of a cardiac arrhythmia approximately four hours after being discharged from a hospital following outpatient surgery for an abdominal hernia. The plaintiff alleged the surgeon was negligent for failing to order a pre-operative cardiac evaluation and clearance and for allowing the patient to be discharged. The hospital and an anesthesiologist were also named as defendants. At the conclusion of a lengthy trial, the jury returned a unanimous verdict for all defendants.

Steve Snyder

Obtained a voluntary dismissal of a general surgeon who was emergently called to assist with treatment of a patient who had become unstable and arrested during a transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion being performed by a neurosurgeon. The general surgeon performed a small emergent exploratory laparotomy but was unable to identify the complication resulting in arrest or a source of a possible bleed. The patient ultimately died without being resuscitated and, on autopsy, was found to have lacerations in both the vena cava and aorta. The plaintiff alleged the general surgeon failed to properly or adequately perform the exploratory procedure which resulted in the patient’s death. The defense established that the approach under the emergent circumstances was appropriate and did not contribute to the fatal outcome. The general surgeon was ultimately dismissed without having to pay any settlement.

Steve Snyder, David Williford

Obtained a defense verdict in favor of an OB-GYN in a small community whose patient suffered bilateral ureteral obstructions following a lengthy surgical procedure in which a laparoscopic-assisted vaginal hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oopherectomy had to be converted to an open procedure as a result of dense, extensive adhesions. Because of low urine output, the doctor performed a transurethral cystoscopy with dye that was inconclusive as a small amount of dye reached the bladder, and also performed an IVP that had to be read remotely at a larger medical center and could not be promptly read and reported. The patient was closed and admitted. The IVP showed ureter obstructions but no leaks or lacerations and the patient was transferred the next morning to a larger medical center where the obstructions were surgically repaired. The plaintiff claimed multiple long-term sequela including pulmonary hypertension. On day six of the trial, and after deliberating for less than one hour, the jury found in favor of the doctor.

Steve Snyder

Obtained a defense verdict for a surgeon in a case in which the patient, after an emergent referral by his primary care physician, presented to a hospital with severe pain and a surgical abdomen, and the defendant surgeon performed an exploratory laparoscopy only to find a benign appendix. The surgeon thoroughly explored the abdominal cavity and “ran the bowel” without finding an explanation for the patient’s presentation. The patient was admitted, did not improve clinically, and eventually started deteriorating and showing lab value changes, at which time the surgeon ordered a CT scan that came back non-specific and then performed an exploratory laparotomy, finally discovering a small full-thickness perforation in the bowel after again running the bowel two times. The plaintiff alleged negligence for performing the initial exploratory laparotomy rather than treat the pain, wait and watch; for the manner in which the procedure was performed and allegedly caused the perforation; and for failing to timely discover and treat the complication. The jury rendered a unanimous verdict in favor of the defense.

Steve Snyder, David Williford

Obtained a defense verdict for several gynecologists in a medical malpractice case in which the plaintiff alleged the gynecologists negligently perforated her bowel during her hysterectomy and failed to timely diagnose and repair the perforation. The patient incurred a lengthy hospital stay and underwent a colostomy procedure, which was later reversed. At trial the defendants showed that the injury was a delayed perforation which was not due to negligence and that the defendants had timely diagnosed the injury and prevented further harm to the patient.

Steve Snyder, David Williford

Obtained summary judgment for a pathologist in a complicated case involving allegations of defamation, slander, conspiracy, interference with contractual relations and unfair trade practices. After discovery, including many lengthy depositions, the defense established that the varied allegations against the pathologist were unsubstantiated, and the court dismissed him from the case.

Steve Snyder, David Williford

Obtained a defense verdict for a general surgeon sued by the mother of a 43-year-old man who underwent a sleeve gastrectomy procedure for weight loss and died a month later of complications resulting therefrom. Within 24 hours of the surgery, the patient became ill due to a gastric leak. The surgeon timely re-operated and determined that it was necessary to convert the sleeve gastrectomy to a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass to preserve the healthiest part of the stomach. The patient’s postoperative course was complicated by pneumonia, acute renal failure, gastrointestinal bleeding, and sepsis, to which the patient eventually succumbed. At trial, the defense proved that the surgeon met the standard of care in every respect and was not at fault for the very unfortunate death of this patient.

Steve Snyder, Trip Lehn