Belaski v. Doctor's Hospital. The plaintiff's sciatic nerve was permanently injured during hip replacement surgery, resulting in chronic pain. The plaintiff sought over $1M in damages.
The defendant orthopedic surgeon had undergone eye surgery for a detached retina 20 days before the defendant performed the hip replacement surgery on the plaintiff.
The plaintiff allegedly did not know that the defendant would be performing surgery with impaired vision.
The defendant asserted that his vision was only impaired in his left eye, due to an incident that occurred when the defendant was 20 years-old, and the defendant had been right-eyed for his entire career. The defendant allegedly has previously performed 2,500 hip replacement surgeries without complication. Therefore, the defendant's overall rate of complications was not below the standard of care.
The jury found for the defendant.
Kornak v. North Broward Hospital District. Plaintiff Martha Kornak's husband, 35 year-old James Kornak, died after surgery to install a pacemaker. The pacemaker was successfully implanted, but due to a complication, two surgeries were performed -- the second operation was a continuation of the first, but performed the following day. Kornak died of respiratory complications 17 days later.
According to the plaintiff, Kornak's lungs were clear before the first surgery, but bilateral congestion subsequently developed, and the anesthesiologists should have recognized the respiratory distress and waited a few days before placing Kornak under anesthesia for the second time, given that the procedure was elective and non-urgent.
The defense argued that Kornak did withstand the second anesthesiology, and instead his respiratory distress did not result from the surgery, but instead that pulmonary hemorrages in his lungs were caused by Kornak's underlying anatomy.
The jury found in favor of the plaintiff against all defendants, and awarded total damages of approximately $4.5M.
Smith v. Parker involved a baby who suffered a brachial plexus injury, allegedly as a result of a vacuum-assisted vaginal delivery without complications.
The jury found in favor of the defendant.
Evans v. Deshazo. On April 11, 2005, 28 year-old Bobby Evans died of a drug overdose after consuming alcohol, the recreational drug Ecstasy (methamphetamine), and the pain killer oxycodone.
According to the decedent's plaintiffs (the decedent's parents), people rarely die from using Ecstasy, but oxycodone is a highly addictive drug that is incredibly dangerous when taken with alcohol or other medications.
The plaintiffs asserted that the defendant's treatment fell below the standard of care because even though the defendant prescribed increasing doses of oxycodone over nearly a year, there was no documented treatment plan, nor a sufficient medical history or examination adequate to support the prescription, nor did the defendant adequately explain the risks of taking oxycodone in combination with alcohol or recreational drugs, even though the decedent disclosed his use of alcohol.
The defendant, a doctor of osteopathy, claimed that he prescribed the decedent medication for back pain -- first hydrocodone, then oxycodone, then roxicodone. The defense claimed that there was no indication of addition or drug-seeing behavior. Instead, the decedent was the classic presentation of a chronic pain patient, experiencing actual pain from actual accidents.
The jury found in favor of the defendant.
King v. Greathouse. The plaintiff visited the defendant chiropractor due to lower back pain. After the defendant performed a cerebrovascular assessment, the plaintiff allegedly reported nausea and dizziness. The defendant remained by the plaintiff's side for six seconds, after which the plaintiff fainted (syncopy), fell off the examination table, and landed face down on the floor, allegedly suffering a permanent spinal cord injury.
The defense asserted that the standard of care was not breached because the plaintiff only reported temporary nausea, which cleared up immediately. According to the defense the plaintiff's injury was not foreseeable because the defendant did not know that the plaintiff had a congenitally narrow spinal cord, as well as preexisting degenerative disc disease. Moreover, the defense claimed that the plaintiff's spinal cord injury more likely resulted from a trauma that occurred six weeks earlier, when the plaintiff hit his butt on the bottom of a swimming pool after dong a "cannon ball" jump.
The jury found that the defendant was not negligent.
Kroll v. Zolfaghari. Haylee Kroll, age 15 at the time of trial, was allegedly born with an enterovirus infection, contracted from her mother at birth, the late diagnosis of which resulted in brain, liver, and kidney damage in the child. The mother's amniotic sac had ruptured weeks before delivery, and the mother had a fever at the time of Haylee's birth.
Although the infant was placed in the neonatal intensive care unit, the doctors did not diagnose and treat the viral infection in time to prevent the damage.
The jury returned a $4.3M verdict in favor of the plaintiff.
Cuppy v. Surgical Professionals. An appendectomy patient who had been taking the anti-coagulant Coumadin (due to a prior heart valve replacement) died after the attending surgeon allegedly overlooked internal bleeding before completing the operation.
The plaintiff also alleged that the physician failed to obtain informed consent for emergency surgery, and that the patient's acute symptoms had subsided at the tiem fo the surgery decision because the plaintiff did not in fact have appendicitis.
The plaintiff also alleged that the physician over-prescribed Lovenox (a form of Heparin, another anti-coagulant) for DVT prophylaxis, and that the physician did not appropriately respond to the patient's deteriorating condition.
The jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendants.
Pullin v. Team Physicians. The defendant suffered from right ventricular dysfunction, and she eventually died of right ventricular failure. According to the plaintiff, the decedent's condition could have been and should have been easily diagnosed with an echocardiogram during her 20 hours in the intensive care unit (ICU), and if diagnosed and followed the condition could have been resolved with thrombolytic therapy.
The defense asserted that the patient was stable, and even improving, until moments before her collapse, and never met the critical care guidelines for hemodynamic instability or shock, and therefore the standard of care did not require thrombolytic therapy.
The jury found in favor of the plaintiff.