MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CASE SETTLED FOR $165,000 Our client was a 54 year old Hispanic woman who went to the Ob/Gyn clinic for a routine checkup. They advised the patient that she should have a colposcopy performed; a minor office procedure to help determine if there was abnormal cervical cancer cell growth. Immediately following the procedure, the patient felt a burning pain in her groin and buttocks. She went home but returned to the emergency room only a few hours later where 1st and 2nd degree burns were observed in that area. The records reflect that the patient was told that she had an “allergic” reaction to the acetic acid used during the procedure and that the burns would go away but to apply a cream to them. However, upon further investigation we disclosed that tri-choleric acid (a much more abrasive agent) was used by mistake, causing the burns and permanent scars. She was also compensated for the emotional suffering that resulted from this malpractice.
FALL FROM ROOF AT CONSTRUCTION SITE SETTLES FOR $350,000 We represented a 42-year-old roofer who was installing shingles on top of plywood sheathing. Because the sheaths were staggered, some of the plywood sheets extended beyond the last support beam. Apparently when the workmen left the site on the Friday night before the fall, they did not cut off the boards, thus leaving parts unsupported. The next morning when our client stepped on the edge of the plywood he fell 20 feet to the ground causing L1-L2 inter body fractures, L-2 transverse process fracture, right pneumothorax, right superior and inferior pubic rami fractures, left navicular fracture, right calcaneal fracture, concussion with loss of consciousness, and multiple contusions and abrasions. He was admitted to the hospital for several days. In addition to the above complaints the medical records document cognitive impairments and neuro-behavioral changes including anxiety, emotional liability and difficult with concentration, as well as anosmia (absence of the sense of smell). In addition, personality testing indicated mild to moderate degree of depression and anxiety. He was recommended for a cognitive rehabilitation program designed for traumatic brain injured patients. In addition to the pain, suffering, permanent disability and impairment, past and future lost wages there was a Workers Compensation lien that had to be repaid. The defense to the action refused to settle because they believed that it was the laborer’s fault for walking off the edge of the roof. We employed a firm of safety engineers, with extensive backgrounds in work site accidents and familiarity with OSHA and industry safety standards that prepared an evaluation report. The experts stated that the framing contractor violated the applicable safety standards, thereby creating the dangerous condition and risk, which directly led to the fall and subsequent injuries. Also, an Occupational and Employability evaluation was performed and it was determined that the plaintiff could no longer engage in the same or similar type work, which could result in a loss of future income of up to $600,000. Rather than risk a rather substantial damage award, the insurance company changed its “no pay” position and offered a fair amount of money to settle the case.
RECOVERY OF $1.2 MILLION DOLLARS This case involved a 39 year old tree trimmer who was working in a bucket truck, or "cherry-picker", when it tipped over. He fell 20 feet to the ground suffering multiple fractures and traumatic brain injury. With the assistance of an electrical engineer, work environment safety expert and OSHA we were able to establish liability on the manufacturer of the truck. It did not have stabilizer bars that were interlocked and, therefore, they did not deploy automatically. As a result the worker, who failed to set them, was up in the bucket when it was moved too far causing him the fall to the ground. The plaintiff claimed to sustain memory loss and was unable to return to work. A nueropsychologist and a vocational expert were consulted to prove the disability; a long-term health care plan was formed and a forensic economist calculated the lost wages and cost of future medical expenses. The case was settled shortly before trial.
JURY VERDICT OF $450,000 SETTLED ON APPEAL This case concerned a 5 year old little girl who put into her mouth peeling paint chips from the window sill. The owner of the building knew about the problem but did nothing to fix it. The plaintiff was getting assistance from WIC which required blood tests that disclosed high levels of lead. She had to have painful chelating in the hospital and take special vitamins to lower the level of lead in her body. School records, teacher reports and parent observations showed that the child had developmental delays and was a behavior problem (she was hyperactive). The defendant file an appeal of the verdict and the case was settled so that when the child turned 18 she would begin to receive monthly payments for the rest of her life.
MEDICAL MALPRACTICE VERDICT $300,000 The plaintiff was a 60 year old woman with advanced arthritis who went to an orthopedic surgeon who performed a total hip replacement. After surgery she developed a "foot drop" that became a permanent condition. Suit was brought against the doctor who claimed that this result can occur in the absence of malpractice. However, based on the medical records the jury found that the doctor was liable because he cut a nerve during the operation. There was no lost wage claim as the patient was retired at the time.
OPERATED DISC SURGERY FROM SLIP AND FALL YIELDS $150,000 Our client was a 50 year old beautician who fell down steps at work. The salon had been redesigned and the steps were rebuilt. As she was going down the stairs to get her next customer she slipped and fell hitting her back on the bottom step. She didn't know what had caused her to fall but she hurt her back which was diagnosed with a herniated disc by MRI. After a try of conservative treatment she had epidural nerve blocks, which did not help. Eventually she had surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery in NY. It was later established that the stairway was dangerous because it was too steep and there was no handrail. The jury returned a verdict against the defendant and in favor of the plaintiff.
WORKERS' COMPENSATION CASE This claim involved a mixed martial arts instructor and studio owner, in his mid 40's, who was demonstrating a move when he was dropped on his head inadvertently by his student. The impact caused damage to his cervical and thoracic spine areas and involved traumatic brain injury from which he would never recover. The carrier provided medical treatment but disputed that he was unable to return to work in any capacity. We tried the matter to conclusion on the issue of temporary disability and then settled for 100% of total permanently disability after beginning trial on that issue. He was receiving Social Security Disability by the time the claim was resolved.
Copyright David M. Cohen, LLC. All rights reserved.