MEDICAL MALPRACTICE

“CASE RESULTS DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE, AND DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE”

$500,000.00 Verdict For Malpractice – Failure to Warn About Drug

Attorney: Gregory Sandler

Court: Newport News Circuit Court

What Happened:

Long before Viagra and Cialis were widely advertised, we represented a 53 year old veteran was being treated by a psychiatrist for depression. During that treatment, the doctor prescribed a medication for the client called Trazadone, which is a sleep aid. Sometime later the client was traveling to his family in Danville, when he developed a prolonged erection, known as the condition of priapism. Not knowing the condition, or its cause, he left his family in Danville and travelled home to Hampton, where he sought medical attention through the emergency room at Hampton Sentara General Hospital. Unfortunately, his treatment came too late, and as we now know through advertising, failure to get treatment for this condition within 4 hours resulted in my client being rendered permanently impotent.

Our investigation discovered that the published guide to medications, for use by physicians, called the Physician’s Desk Reference, contained a warning, with a black box around it mandated by the Food and Drug Administration, warning that a known, significant side effect of taking Trazadone, was the condition of priapism, AND that the onset of this condition required immediate medical attention. The Defendant psychiatrist had never told my client about the black box warning, and he had no idea that he needed to protect himself when the condition arose.

Because the subject matter of this case was sensitive, we utilized some pre-trial techniques that are not often looked to, to find out how a jury would feel about this case and these issues. I retained a well known trial consultant to assist in framing the issues for the jury. Through the use of focus groups, we found out what potential jurors would need to know in order to evaluate our client’s case. When we looked at the doctor’s records we found additions and corrections to his records to make it look as if the client had been informed. We hired a handwriting expert to review the records and give an opinion that the doctor had actually ADDED THE NOTES LATER, in an effort to cover up his omission. We convinced the Newport News Circuit Court judge to allow us to interview the potential jurors one by one, rather than in a group, so that we could insure a fair jury.

The case was tried to a jury for two days, including very emotional and difficult testimony from my client. The jury returned a verdict for the client in the amount of $500,000.00, for his permanent physical and emotional injury.

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE

“CASE RESULTS DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE, AND DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE”

Confidential Settlement For Malpractice – Loss of Testicle

Attorney: Gregory Sandler

Location: Norfolk Circuit Court

What Happened:

This was a case of radiological medical malpractice for my client who was a 21 year old, athletic male, who reported to a Patient First with complaints of pain in and around his right testicle. He was evaluated there and directed to go immediately to the hospital for evaluation of a condition known as testicular torsion. This is a condition where the blood flow to a testicle is temporarily cut off, but is an emergent condition, requiring attention to prevent the continuous loss of oxygen to the organ.

The client went to the emergency room, and was treated, with the standard diagnostic test being the performance of an ultrasound of the testicle to reveal blood flow. The radiologist who interpreted the test, reported to the treating physician that the test revealed normal blood flow to the testicle and the patient was discharged. Over the next two days, after considerable, debilitating pain caused him to return to another emergency room, a second ultrasound confirmed that there had been insufficient blood flow to the testicle and that it was no longer functioning.

Our investigation revealed that the first ultrasound had actually shown diminished blood flow, and that the radiologist had misinterpreted the test, and provided the wrong information to the treating physician. We filed suit against the radiologist and through the use of experts retained in the field of radiology, were able to prove that medical malpractice had occurred.

By reviewing the ultrasound, rather than simply relying upon the report of findings, we were able to prove that the defendant had committed medical malpractice, and obtained a SETTLEMENT for our client the amount of which is confidential

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE

“CASE RESULTS DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE, AND DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE”

$295,000.00 Settlement – Wrongful Death – Failure to Diagnose Aortic Aneurysm

Attorney: Gregory Sandler

Location: Virginia Beach Circuit Court

What Happened:

Patient was a 51 year old husband and father of two young children, who went to the Emergency Room in the evening complaining of chest pains. A number of tests were performed including blood tests for elevated cardiac enzymes, transthoracic echocardiogram, chest xrays, and other blood work, seeking to learn the source of his pain. Ultimately he was admitted and sent to a hospital room. During the evening his health declined. The next day, additional studies were obtained, but no physician read the study for a number of hours.

Later that night the patient’s condition became critical and he was rushed to radiology to perform a transesophageal echocardiogram, which demonstrated that the patient was suffering from a dissection of his aorta, essentially resulting in the patient’s heart bleeding into his body cavity. Within minutes, the patient suffered a cardiac arrest a died. His widow and two children contacted me to find out what had happened to cause the loss of their husband and father in the span of about 24 hours.

The exhaustive and necessary review of the records of care revealed that the physicians involved in the patient’s care had missed the recognized signs of an aortic dissection on several occasions. Physicians follow an investigative diagnostic protocol known as a “differential diagnosis”. This process requires a physician to rule out the most potentially life threatening or harmful causes of the symptoms, and then move on to the next dire potential cause, until the cause is either determined or eliminated. These physicians involved, failed in that protocol and missed the chance, early, to find and stop the dissection to prevent the patient’s ultimate death.

This case involved expert witnesses for both sides in a number of areas and disciplines, on both sides of the United States. The case was ultimately SETTLED both against the hospital and against the practice for whom the physicians practiced, for a total sum of $295,000.00. Due to the age of the children, funds for them were placed in a structured settlement annuity to allow for protection of the funds and tax free growth.