Successfully defended a trauma surgeon sued by the family of a 24-year-old man who died in the emergency department from internal injuries he sustained when he fell out of a moving vehicle. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant was negligent for failing to take the patient to the operating room very soon after he arrived in the ER. After the surgeon’s deposition, the plaintiff dropped the case against him.
Secured a dismissal on behalf of a gynecologist in a case alleging that the gynecologist failed to timely diagnose a bowel perforation that occurred during a gynecologic surgery. In the depositions of the treating physicians, the defense demonstrated that the gynecologist appropriately followed the patient in the hospital and timely undertook exploratory surgery to discover and repair the perforation. Soon thereafter, the plaintiff voluntarily dismissed the case.
Secured a voluntary dismissal of a radiologist who was alleged to have misread post-operative x-ray studies by failing to recognize misplacement or malalignment of surgical screws placed in a spinal fusion procedure, which allegedly resulted in severe pain, suffering, subsequent surgery and permanent injuries caused by nerve root impingement. The defense established that the studies in question were interpreted appropriately and, further, that there were no clinical indications at the time in question to suggest recommendation of definitive studies. No settlement was paid in exchange for the dismissal of the defendant radiologist and practice.
Obtained a defense verdict for an obstetrician sued for medical malpractice and wrongful death after fetal demise was discovered at approximately 32 weeks of pregnancy. The plaintiffs alleged that the obstetrician was negligent in failing to refer her patient to a maternal-fetal medicine specialist for further evaluation after seeing an enlarged placenta on fetal ultrasound. The plaintiffs called three well-qualified experts, including an internationally renowned placental pathologist from Brown University. Despite the impressive experts who testified for the plaintiffs, the jury returned a defense verdict for the obstetrician.
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.
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.
Successfully defended a large regional hospital system sued for medical malpractice by the estate of a female patient who suffered respiratory distress and hypoxia after having a total knee replacement, which allegedly retarded her postoperative recovery and physical rehabilitation. One day after defense counsel deposed the plaintiff’s expert, the plaintiff dropped the case.
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.
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.
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.
Secured a dismissal for an emergency medicine physician sued for malpractice by female patient who alleged that she should have been treated with tPA, a clot-busting drug, when she presented to the ER with symptoms allegedly due to a stroke. The defense established through expert testimony that the defendant met the standard of care in evaluating the patient in the ER and having her admitted to the hospital for further evaluation, and that administering tPA was not indicated under the circumstances. After full discovery, the plaintiff voluntarily dismissed her case against the defendant.
Successfully defended an orthopedic surgeon sued by a female patient who went blind after a total hip replacement due to postoperative hypotension and an extremely rare occurrence of acute ischemic optic neuropathy (AION). After full discovery and within one month of trial, the plaintiff dropped her case against the surgeon.
Obtained a defense verdict for a family physician sued in a medical malpractice case in which the plaintiff alleged the physician failed to timely diagnose a parosteal osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, in a 28-year old female patient, who eventually died despite a leg amputation and five rounds of chemotherapy. At trial, the defense showed that the family physician followed the standard of care by properly addressing the patient’s leg pain and elevated lab values, which led to her diagnosis. The defense offered an expert witness in oncology, who testified that the patient’s cancer was incurable regardless of when the diagnosis was made. The jury returned a verdict for the defendants.
In a medical malpractice trial, obtained a directed verdict in favor of a pulmonologist where it was alleged that a misdiagnosis led to the death of a patient with lung cancer. The plaintiff presented the testimony of expert witnesses in pathology, oncology and radiology, but after cross-examination, the defense persuaded the judge that the testimony of these experts was insufficient to carry the plaintiff’s burden of proof. The judge dismissed the case.
Obtained a defense verdict for a cardiologist sued for medical malpractice and wrongful death after his patient died of a heart attack following an abnormal nuclear stress test. The plaintiff alleged that the cardiologist failed to timely notify the patient of his test results and admit him to the hospital. At trial, the defense highlighted the fact that the patient chose to leave the office after the nuclear stress test without seeing the cardiologist. The defense also offered two expert witnesses who explained that this patient’s sudden demise was unpredictable and improbable, particularly when the patient had been asymptomatic. The jury returned a verdict for the cardiologist.
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.
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.
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.
Secured a dismissal in a medical malpractice case against several obstetricians, alleging that they negligently ruptured an artery during the patient’s C-section. Several days after the C-section, the plaintiff began bleeding in her pelvis and had to be transferred to Charlotte for emergency surgery and an embolization which saved her life. The plaintiff’s expert witnesses opined that the bleeding occurred due to an injury to her right lateral sacral artery. After a thorough review of the radiology films and studies of the embolization procedure, the defense determined that the injury had been to the uterine artery instead. After the plaintiff’s expert witnesses testified that there was no negligence if in fact the injury occurred to the uterine artery, the plaintiff dismissed the case.
Obtained a defense verdict for an obstetrician who was sued in a medical malpractice case where the plaintiff alleged that the obstetrician applied excessive traction to the baby’s head to resolve a shoulder dystocia during delivery, causing a permanent brachial plexus injury. At trial, the defense offered two expert witnesses, including one of the nation’s leading experts on shoulder dystocia, who testified that the obstetrician followed the proper protocol to resolve the dystocia, and the injury was the result of the internal forces of the mother occurring during the dystocia. The jury returned a verdict for the defendant.
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.
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.
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.
Obtained a defense verdict at trial for an anesthesiologist and his practice in a medical malpractice case in which the plaintiff alleged the anesthesiologist failed to administer adequate amounts of anesthesia during a teenager’s appendectomy, which allegedly caused the teenager extreme pain, fear, and severe post-traumatic stress disorder. Based on the youthful age of the patient, the plaintiffs sought millions of dollars in damages for the lifelong suffering the patient claimed she would experience. In this complex case involving the minimum alveolar concentrations of anesthesia with respect to sevoflurane and the potentiating effects of multiple anesthetic drugs, the defense offered as an expert witness the nation’s leading expert in “anesthesia awareness.” The jury returned a verdict for the defendants.
Obtained a defense verdict at trial for an obstetrician in a medical malpractice case in which the plaintiff alleged the obstetrician was negligent in the delivery of her child during labor, resulting in uterine rupture and the death of the infant. The young mother required an emergent C-section and survived. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the obstetrician.
Obtained a defense verdict for a general surgeon sued for medical malpractice where the plaintiff alleged the surgeon misdiagnosed her cardiac condition and improperly placed a cardiac pacemaker, causing pain and suffering and additional surgery. At trial, the defense showed that the plaintiff’s expert misdiagnosed the patient’s condition, and the jury found that the surgeon properly diagnosed the patient’s heart condition and appropriately placed the pacemaker.
Obtained a defense verdict for a gynecologist and his hospital employer in a medical malpractice case in which the plaintiff alleged the gynecologist failed to correctly biopsy and diagnose cervical cancer in a 26-year-old woman, who died two years after the alleged misdiagnosis. The defense offered two expert witnesses, including a gynecological oncologist who wrote a leading textbook in his field. The jury decided in favor of the gynecologist.
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.
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.