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Case Summaries

Surgery Malpractice – Settlement: $3,400,000
A ten month old boy presented to his doctor with a left sided benign kidney mass. A surgery was performed to remove the mass at a major area hospital. Two days following surgery, the boy was having complications and was taken back to the operating room where surgery revealed that the entire small bowel was gangrenous and that both the superior mesenteric artery and the celiac axis had been severed in the previous surgery. His gall bladder and entire mid-gut were removed. the boy was treated over the last several years for a short bowel syndrome, parenteral nutrition dependence, G. tube dependence, recurrent central line infections, urinary tract infections, and asplenia.

Failure to Diagnose – Settlement: $1,000,000
A woman planning to become pregnant had an office appointment with the defendant because she had a family history of Fragile X and wanted to determine if she was a carrier. the doctor ordered testing, and reported that the tests were negative. The plaintiff subsequently became pregnant and gave birth to a son. He exhibited signs of developmental delay and was examined and genetic testing was ordered, which found Evan to have Fragile X Syndrome. His mother then had DNA testing which revealed that she was in fact a Fragile X carrier. She also learned that the tests Dr. Fortune had ordered were not the correct tests to screen for
Fragile X.

Medication Error – Settlement: $2,000,000
A 61 year old woman had a total knee replacement and was discharged to a rehabilitation facility. Post-operatively, a blood thinner was prescribed, and continued in rehab. While at the facility, she complained of calf pain, and the defendant was notified. An ultrasound was ordered but the machine was unavailable. Arrangements were made to send her to the hospital the next day. At the hospital, she was diagnosed with DVT. After the ultrasound, the doctor initially increased the dose of the blood thinner, but then put her back on the prior dose, the prevention dose, rather than the required treatment dose. The patient died of a pulmonary embolism the following day.

Surgery Malpractice – Settlement: $225,000
The patient presented to the defendant doctor with pain in her left knee and was diagnosed with a torn lateral meniscus. He performed surgery to fix the meniscus. Following the operation, she could not move her left foot. Over time and multiple tests, Ms. Montano was diagnosed with a peroneal and partial sciatic palsy. Ms. Montano continues to suffer today with a foot drop.

Delay in Diagnosis – Settlement: $2,000,000
The plaintiff, a retired 62 year old man, had an indwelling epidural catheter for pain relief. A day after the catheter was removed, the plaintiff began having progressive neurologic symptoms such as numbness in his feet, loss of strength in his legs, distended bladder, and eventually he had paralysis of both legs and one arm. After much delay, the plaintiff had a spinal CT scan which showed a large epidural hematoma. The hematoma was evacuated surgically, returning function to the plaintiff’s arm, but he remained paraplegic.

Medical Negligence – Settlement: $660,000
The plaintiff’s decedent did not have the appropriate colon cancer screening by his primary care physician. He was later diagnosed with metastatic colon cancer and died two years after the diagnosis. The defendant denied that he was the primary care physician and that the cancer was of such an aggressive nature that even with earlier diagnosis, it could not have been treated.

Misdiagnosis – Settlement: $3,500,0000
The Plaintiff, a 48 year old male, was seen in the Emergency Room complaining of right-sided chest pain. He was discharged and returned the next day unable to void, was sweating profusely, and complained of upper back pain. His symptoms progressed without proper treatment. Eventually the plaintiff had surgery to remove an epidural abscess and decompress the spinal cord. Despite efforts of the subsequent surgeon, the plaintiff remains paraplegic.

Medical Negligence – Settlement: $1,825,000
The plaintiff was a 41 year old woman who had a PAP test performed by her primary care physician. The result came back that not enough cells were collected for the test to be accurate. The test was not repeated, nor were the results discussed with the plaintiff. Four years later, the plaintiff was diagnosed with cervical cancer and required radiation and surgery to treat the cancer, which could have been avoided with earlier diagnosis.

Medical Negligence – Settlement: $2,450,000
The plaintiff, a woman in her eighties, presented to the emergency room complaining of pain in her wrist. Due to the negligence of the physicians caring for her, there was a delay of the diagnosis of septic arthritis. The infection seeded in her eye and the plaintiff now suffers from blindness.

Surgical Malpractice – Settlement: $400,000 ($432,000 judgement with interest)
The plaintiff suffered from gall bladder disease and required a laparoscopic procedure to have the gall bladder removed. During the procedure, the defendant cut the wrong duct. The plaintiff then needed an additional surgery, a Roux-en-Y procedure, to correct the problem. The defendant testified that cutting the wrong duct is a known risk of the procedure and was discussed with the plaintiff prior to the surgery.

Cancer Misdiagnosis – Settlement: $1,400,000
The plaintiff’s decedent was a 68 year old woman who was referred to a urologist for symptoms of back pain and blood in her urine. Initial testing showed that she had a tumor on her bladder which was removed. She continued to have problems with pain and multiple tests were performed. Eventually the plaintiff had a scoping procedure of her kidney which revealed a left renal cancer, which had metastasized to her abdomen, lungs, and liver. She underwent treatment for the cancer, but subsequently died. Plaintiff’s contention was that had she been thoroughly evaluated, the kidney cancer would have been diagnosed at a more treatable stage.

Birth Injury – Settlement: $1,000,000
A 26 year old pregnant woman went into labor and was known to have a fever and a strep infection. Throughout the day, the fetal heart rate was becoming more and more ominous. Nothing was done until that evening when it was determined a c-section should be performed. The baby had to be resuscitated by the time it was delivered. At the time of the settlement, the baby was 3 ½ years old but functioning at a two year old level. The defense experts claimed that the baby would progress well over time.