Med Mal Trial Opens Against Physician Assistant Over Patient's Death From Blood Clot

Posted by Arlin Crisco on Aug 17, 2022 4:53:54 PM


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Sarasota, FL— Jurors Monday heard competing contentions surrounding the care of a Florida woman who ultimately died from a catastrophic blood clot, as trial opened against a physician assistant and others. Dinallo v. Kayat, et al., 2019-CA-003392.  

Jacqueline Dinallo, 50, died in March 2018 from a pulmonary embolism, or blood clot, which was likely the result of deep vein thrombosis. Before her death, Dinallo was being treated by physician assistant Charles Kayat for complaints of a severe cough and shortness of breath, among other issues. Dinallo’s husband John claims Kayat failed to properly send Dinallo for testing and treatment that could have saved her. He is suing Kayat, along with supervising physician Dr. Alka Nair and primary care service Gulf Coast HMA Physician Management LLC. 

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During Monday’s opening statement, John Dinallo’s attorney, Morgan & Morgan’s Keith Mitnik, walked jurors through the timeline of Dinallo’s symptoms and Kayat's care. He said evidence would show Dinallo’s symptoms worsening, while a chest X-ray revealed issues that should have led Kayat to instruct Dinallo to seek urgent hospital care. Instead, Mitnik said, Kayat recommended Dinallo schedule further, non-emergency imaging for an issue ultimately unrelated to her death.

“You may hear… that [diagnosis in medical care] is an art and a science,” Mitnik said. “But what you’re also going to hear from our experts is… you’ve got to do the science before you get to art, and neither of them were done here.”

But the defense argues Kayat provided appropriate care given the circumstances, and that the blood clot was not foreseeable. On Monday, Cole, Scott & Kissane's Daniel Shapiro previewed evidence that he said showed Kayat properly applied a differential diagnosis methodology in addressing Dinallo's symptoms. Shapiro said Dinallo’s complaints of coughing and other issues were “non-specific” symptoms that could have a variety of causes. And he said testimony would show the fatal embolism appeared in Dinallo’s pulmonary artery only a short time before her death. 

“It was totally unforeseeable, totally unpredictable. You’ll hear from the medical examiner just how long he believes that that clot was present. Until that point in time, you’re not going to have signs or symptoms that would be indicative of, consistent with... a pulmonary embolus.”

Closings in the case are expected sometime this week. 

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Topics: Medical Malpractice, Florida, Dinallo, et al. v. Kayat, et al.