Medical Malpractice Cases

From medical malpractice victories in Columbus, Ohio, to the triumph of truth regarding personal injury and wrongful death cases around the country, we are fortunate to be able to play a part in the successful outcome and resolutions presented in these cases below.

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Southard v. Whetstone Care Facility

Franklin County | $6.5 Million Jury Verdict Wrongful death and survivorship jury verdict to Diana Southard and her two adult daughters, as a result of the death of her 62-year-old husband, who was disabled since 1984 by an aneurysm that left him with severe cognitive deficits, including loss of short-term memory and an impaired thirst mechanism. Diana placed her husband in an assisted care facility for two weeks respite care, with explicit instructions concerning his need for monitoring of adequate fluid intake to prevent hypernatremia and dehydration. Her instructions were disregarded, and her husband was hospitalized but died shortly after discharge from the facility due to severe dehydration and renal failure. Back to top

Dick v. Hardin Memorial Hospital

Franklin County | $6 Million Jury Verdict

$6 million jury verdict against emergency room physicians for failure to timely diagnose bilateral blood clots in patient's legs. Patient presented to emergency room three times one morning with signs and symptoms consistent with vascular occlusion before diagnosis was recognized and transfer for emergency surgery to restore blood supply was arranged. By the time patient arrived at second hospital, window of opportunity to save patient's legs had been lost. Emergency room physician-defendants contended that diagnosis was not apparent and that her legs could not have been salvaged regardless of when the diagnosis was made.

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Lyons v. Clarkston

Franklin County | $5 Million Jury Verdict

$5 million dollar verdict obtained on September 3, 1999, on behalf of the family of Joyce Lyons. Mrs. Lyons was returning home from a professional conference when the car in which she was a passenger was involved in a high-speed collision. She sustained a seat belt injury from her lap belt and was transported to Mary Rutan Hospital (a local community hospital) where she was examined by an emergency physician and Dr. Mohammed Salem, a surgeon. She was admitted for observation, but was not seen by Dr. Salem, or any other physician, until the next morning. When Dr. Salem examined her the following morning, he determined she was a surgical emergency. Mrs. Lyons was transferred to OSU Medical Center for emergency surgery to resect 4 feet of necrotic bowel, secondary to torn and devascularized mesentery. Postoperatively, Mrs. Lyons developed respiratory failure, sepsis and ARDS, required ventilatory support and re-operation for continued infection, but succumbed 18 days following accident.

Mrs. Lyons was originally from Lesotho, South Africa, and had a son who was 17 years old at the time of her death. She met and married her husband while he was in the Peace Corps, and they returned to Columbus, Ohio, where she was pursuing a Ph.D. in Childhood Development at the time of her death. She was 37 years old.

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Haxton v. Riverside Hospital

Franklin County | Confidential Settlement

In 2009, Blake Haxton — a high school senior, and co-captain of his high school crew team with scholarship offers to several universities – had both legs amputated due to his doctors' alleged failures to timely diagnose and treat necrotizing fasciitis (commonly referred to as "flesh-eating bacteria"). Blake presented to the emergency room with an extremely painful, red, swollen area on his calf. His medical care providers diagnosed him with a superficial skin infection, and did not consider necrotizing fasciitis until the following day when it was nearly too late to save Blake's life. Blake ultimately underwent multiple surgeries resulting in the amputation of both his legs. A lawsuit filed against Riverside Hospital and several medical care providers was settled shortly prior to trial.

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Baby Doe v. Hospital

Franklin County | $4.8 Million Settlement

$4.8 million settlement on behalf of a minor child severely injured during birth. Child suffered a profound, acute hypoxic ischemic injury resulting in cerebral palsy and mental retardation. Nurses at the hospital failed to recognize and appropriately interpret nonreassuring patterns on an electronic fetal monitor and, in turn, did not timely report the overwhelming indications of lack of fetal well-being to the defendant OB-GYN.

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Golamb v. XYZ Hospital

Franklin County | $4.5 Million Settlement

Settlement of $4.5 million during second week of trial, on behalf of the family of a man who died from improperly treated pancreatitis. Mr. Golamb was admitted to a regular hospital floor under care of nurses who were not properly trained to manage patient with pancreatitis. Attending surgeon examined patient, left hospital and failed to return to re-evaluate him the following morning. Lab values indicating patient's condition was worsening were faxed by nurse to doctor's office, but were not brought to the attention of attending physician. Despite clear evidence of deterioration in patient's condition, no intervention was obtained until Mr. Golamb coded and was unable to be successfully revived.

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Lavender v. Gaines

Franklin County | $3.8 Million Jury Verdict

$3.8 million jury verdict to nine-year-old girl who suffered a compartment syndrome following application of a fiberglass cast to treat a supracondylar fracture. Case successfully challenged routine use of circular casts for such injuries because of the unnecessary danger of compromised blood supply.

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Riggenbach v. The Ashland Hospital Association

Richland County | $3.25 Million Jury Verdict

On February 2, 2007, a jury in Mansfield, Ohio, awarded Joanne Riggenbach and her husband $3.25 million in compensation for injuries to Joanne caused by her attending physician's failure to diagnose and treat a spinal epidural abscess during her hospitalization. A radiologist identified the mass on a chest X-ray, called the attending physician to alert her about it, and noted it in the radiology report, but the attending physician failed to follow up on the finding. The attending physician denied the radiologist verbally reported the mass to her, and claimed she was under no obligation to review the formal radiology report that noted the mass, once the radiologist reported the results of the study to her verbally. Because of the delay in diagnosis and treatment, the abscess continued to expand and compress the spinal cord, until Joanne suffered permanent paralysis from her chest down. The verdict is believed to be the first in excess of $1 million in the history of Richland County.

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Dr. Jane Doe v. ABC Hospital, Et Al.

$2.8 Million Settlement

After experiencing severe back pain and nausea for a few days, Dr. Jane Doe presented to the emergency room of ABC Hospital. Blood tests were positive for a bacterial infection, but were misinterpreted and ignored. Dr. Doe was told by her doctors she had a possible urinary tract infection and was discharged. Dr. Doe's symptoms persisted and worsened over time, and she eventually sought further care. Her doctors eventually diagnosed a spinal infection after a two-month delay, resulting in permanent damage to her spine. Injuries include motor deficits, the need for additional surgeries and daily pain, as well as restrictions in Dr. Doe's ability to practice medicine, which she now can only do on a part-time basis.

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Estate Of Jane Doe v. XYZ Hospital

Logan County | $2 Million Settlement

Jane Doe experienced severe headaches and high blood pressures throughout the final month of her pregnancy. Laboratory testing revealed that she was suffering from a condition known as pre-eclampsia, which can be dangerous to the life of the mother and the baby. Jane's medical providers failed to order induction of delivery, despite Jane being considered "full term" and delivery at that stage being appropriate. Jane presented to XYZ Hospital for emergent delivery after experiencing extreme headaches, dizziness and vision problems. Delivery was induced, and the baby was successfully delivered. Unfortunately, during this process Jane suffered a stroke as a result of her severe pre-eclampsia. She was transferred to another facility for treatment, but ultimately could not be saved. Jane died of the complications from the pre-eclampsia and stroke.

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Legge v. Leess

Union County | $2 Million Jury Verdict

Twin three-year-old boys died at home the evening following outpatient tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy, from respiratory depression. The coroner and defendant contended the boys' respiratory depression and death were the result of a lethal accumulation of codeine due to a "genetic defect" in the metabolism of codeine to morphine. Plaintiff's experts testified that the boys had severe obstructive sleep apnea, and developed respiratory depression secondary to physiologic airway collapse, a well-known complication following such surgery in young patients and those with obstructive sleep apnea. Plaintiff's experts testified that the boys should have been admitted, and monitored overnight, which would have revealed the developing respiratory depression and resulted in simple lifesaving resuscitative measures. Plaintiff successfully challenged the testimony of defendant's toxicology/pharmacology expert and coroner on the "gene defect" theory, which the jury rejected.

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Doe v. Doe, M.D.

Franklin County | $2 Million Confidential Settlement

$2 million settlement on behalf of family of obstetrician-gynecologist who died as a result of alleged seven-month delay in diagnosis of colon cancer. Physician-patient was operated on for acute appendicitis with preoperative CT scan abnormality of large bowel. Continued abdominal pain postoperatively prompted repeat CT scan that did not show resolution of abnormality, as would be expected following successful appendectomy. Radiologists and surgeon failed to appreciate and adequately communicate the potential significance of the CT scan abnormality.

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Dr. John Doe And Dr. Jane Doe v. XYZ Hospital

Franklin County | $2 Million Confidential Settlement

Confidential settlement on behalf of parents of 16-year-old boy, both physicians, who brought suit against local hospital that provided cardiac care and treatment for their son's abnormal heart condition. The son was cleared to play in competitive athletics, and collapsed and died while playing basketball at a summer camp. It was determined that the previous attempts at cardiac ablation to correct the irregular electrical activity in the heart had failed, and he was still at high risk for sudden cardiac failure. Defendants unsuccessfully claimed that the boy died from "sickling" of red blood cells because of sickle cell trait.

Smillie v. Schwartz, M.D.

Lucas County | $1,150,505.60 Jury Verdict

Jury verdict in Toledo, Ohio, on behalf of adult children of Sherrie Smillie, who died as a result of a failure by her primary care physician to diagnose and obtain treatment for chronic pulmonary embolism of approximately four months duration, and misdiagnosis of her condition as asthma and anemia.

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Cook v. United States

U. S. District Court | $1 Million Settlement

A 29-year-old woman suffered an above-the-knee amputation due to the defendant's failure to timely recognize the signs and symptoms of a blood clot in the leg. The failure to recognize the signs of the clot resulted in a delay in diagnosis and treatment and an inability to salvage the leg.

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Garcia v. ABC Hospital And Jane Doe, M.D.

Franklin County | $950,000 Settlement

Plaintiff suffered an injury to his calf while playing soccer. He presented to his family physician and was eventually referred to emergency room of local hospital. Physician's request for diagnostic tests was inaccurately communicated to attending radiologist, resulting in a failure to have proper tests performed to rule out compartment syndrome. Plaintiff went on to develop compartment syndrome, and leg was amputated. Defense contended that plaintiff did not develop compartment syndrome, but rather bacterial necrotizing fasciitis, which would have resulted in amputation of leg in any event to save the plaintiff's life.

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Estate Of Jane Doe v. XYZ Hospital

Washington County | $900,000 Settlement

Wrongful death of a 64-year-old retired woman who was survived by her spouse and three adult children. She went to the hospital for a vascular bypass surgery but the surgeon neglected to notice that Ms. Doe's blood thinner medication had not been stopped at least five days prior to surgery. He proceeded to operate on Ms. Doe, and she suffered significant and uncontrollable bleeding after the surgery. She ultimately died as a result of the blood loss.

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Dr. Jane Doe v. ABC Hospital

Franklin County | $875,000 settlement

Wrongful death case against hospital on behalf of physician-husband and adult children, arising out of the death of Dr. Jane Doe, a retired physician, age 70, following cardiac ablation procedure resulting in perforation of a cardiac artery. Alleged delay in recognition, diagnosis and treatment of the perforation lead to death from hypovolemia and shock. Case remains pending in Tampa, Florida, against remaining defendant physicians.

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Doe v. Doe, M.D.

Ohio Court Of Claims | $860,000 Settlement

Confidential settlement of $860,000 to patient who underwent a knee surgery performed by oral surgeons. Patient suffered permanent and debilitating injuries as a result of the procedure.

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Doe v. EFG Hospital

Franklin County | $850,000 settlement

After experiencing severe back pain for a few days, Jane Doe developed altered mental status and was transported to EFG Hospital's emergency room in very serious condition. After admission to the hospital, Ms. Doe was experiencing neurologic dysfunction in her arms and legs, but those findings were not evaluated properly. Ultimately, MRI showed that Ms. Doe had developed a large spinal infection or abscess that was causing permanent damage to her spinal cord. She was treated with surgery and antibiotics, but was unable to regain use of her extremities. She remains partially paralyzed and will never work again.

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Cook v. Bethesda Hospital

Hamilton County | $850,000 Settlement

$850,000 partial settlement for minor injured during resuscitation for neonatal distress. Evidence established that attempts to oxygenate were inadequate, that UAC catheter had been misplaced and that improper medications were administered through the catheter.

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Cutshall v. Children's Hospital

Franklin County | $850,000 Settlement

$850,000 partial settlement for minor injured during resuscitation for neonatal distress. Evidence established that attempts to oxygenate were inadequate, that UAC catheter had been misplaced and that improper medications were administered through the catheter.

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Cornell v. Drew

Marion County | $800,000 Settlement

Settled for $800,000. Gary Cornell went to a dermatologist for treatment of a spot on his forehead that seeped fluid and would not heal. The physician took a biopsy, and the sample was sent to defendant pathologist to interpret. The defendant misread the slide as containing no cancerous cells. Mr. Cornell was not diagnosed with cancer until almost seven months later.

Experts retained on behalf of Mr. Cornell testified that he had a greater than 50 percent chance of survival if the cancer had the pathology slides been properly read and the cancer timely treated. Mr. Cornell's chance of survival has been greatly decreased as a result of the delay in diagnosis.

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Milum v. ODRC

Ohio Court Of Claims | $800,000 Settlement

Inmate in Pickaway Correctional Institute who suffered a forequarter amputation (the shoulder, arm, shoulder blade and part of the chest wall disarticulated from body) due to a delay in the diagnosis and treatment of an infected hair follicle. There was a delay in the recognition of the severity and nature of the infection, which developed into necrotizing fasciitis and resulted in the radical surgery.

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Estate Of Jack Doe v. XYZ Hospital And Physicians

Miami, Florida | $750,000 Settlement

Patient was a 49-year-old married father with young children, who had a cardiac condition since childhood. As an adult, it was determined that he needed to have valve replacement surgery when his valve began to fail, and he began to experience cardiac symptoms. The surgery was scheduled as an elective surgery, and prior to the date of surgery the patient suffered a severe myocardial infarction (heart attack). He was hospitalized but not monitored in a cardiac ICU. Mr. Doe's condition deteriorated, and he died. Mr. Doe's experts, a cardiologist and cardiothoracic surgeon, both opined that the surgery should have been scheduled emergently, and that his care following the cardiac arrest contributed to his death.

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Penn v. Malaya

Allen County | $750,000 Settlement

$750,000 settlement on the second day of trial. Medical negligence/wrongful death of a 74-year-old retired man. Surviving spouse of 10-year marriage. No children. Failure to timely diagnose and treat postoperative bleed following laparoscopic gallbladder surgery resulted in death.

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Doe v. Doe, M.D. And Doe Medical Center

Franklin County | $750,000 Settlement

$750,000 confidential settlement. Defendant surgeon encountered complications during routine laminectomy and requested neurosurgical assistance. Surgeons who had privileges at the hospital refused to come to physician's aid. Plaintiff later developed permanent sequela from the procedure. Despite peer review statutory immunity, plaintiff established that defendant hospital had questioned the surgeon's competence two months before procedure but took no action. Settlement included contribution by the hospital.

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John Doe v. John Doe Physicians

Franklin County | $675,000 Settlement

$675,000 settlement on behalf of 45-year-old patient against defendant physicians who failed to timely diagnose a spinal epidural abscess. The unchecked abscess developed into meningitis, resulting in permanent neurologic damage. Patient suffers from short-term memory loss, cannot walk without the assistance of a walker and undergoes rigorous physical therapy to maintain mobility.

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Rehn v. Baytion

Franklin County | $665,000 Settlement

$665,000 settlement. Malpractice action on behalf of 39-year-old man diagnosed in 1989 with testicular seminoma. Patient was improperly diagnosed as Stage I rather than Stage II based on CT scan abnormality. Inadequate radiation dosage and field employed, resulting in eventual recurrence of seminoma as pelvic mass. Mass was improperly resected rather than treated with radiation/chemotherapy, leaving patient with orthopedic disability in left leg.

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Dr. John Doe v. XYZ Hospital

Franklin County | $625,000 Confidential Settlement

Physician-patient was required to undergo surgery for removal of a benign tumor on his adrenal gland. Preoperative testing revealed the tumor was a rare pheochromocytoma, which can cause volatile effects on the production of hormones, and necessitates preoperative precautions. The preoperative testing was overlooked and the physician-patient suffered a severe hypertensive crisis as anesthesia was being administered. Surgery was aborted but the physician-patient had suffered neurologic injury and cognitive deficits affecting his ability to continue practicing medicine. Defendants unsuccessfully argued that the standard of care did not require preoperative precautions, but physicians on the staff of that hospital had published about the necessity of such precautions.

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Babamova v. John Doe Defendant

Franklin County | $600,000 Settlement

Settlement on behalf of Victor Babamova, surviving adult brother, arising out of the death of his 66-year-old sister due to an alleged delay in radiologic identification and treatment of a retroperitoneal sarcoma, which are extremely rare tumors with poor prognosis, typically asymptomatic and not diagnosed until unresectable.

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Estate Of Jack Doe v. County Jail And Nurses

U.S. District Court, Northern District Of Ohio | $525,000 Settlement

Settlement on behalf of Jack Doe's surviving parents and siblings, arising out of his death at the jail. After being incarcerated for possession of heroin, Mr. Doe – age 28 – complained to jail and nursing staff that he was suffering heroin withdrawal. The medical staff failed to provide appropriate treatment for Mr. Doe's condition. After four days in the jail, Mr. Doe suffered severe dehydration, seizures and ultimately died as a result of his severe heroin withdrawal. He never received appropriate monitoring, evaluation or treatment for his condition.

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Estate Of Jane Doe v. AB Health System

Franklin County | $500,000 Settlement

Wrongful death settlement for 63-year-old woman who suffered a delayed diagnosis of colorectal cancer after her family physician failed to recommend a routine screening colonoscopy. Ms. Doe was experiencing digestive issues but had never received a colonoscopy, which is recommended in patients over age 50, especially those patients who are experiencing symptoms. Her family physician deemed her symptoms to be related to irritable bowel syndrome. After presenting to another physician over a year later, with her symptoms unresolved, Ms. Doe was given a colonoscopy that ultimately diagnosed her with cancer. As a result of the delayed diagnosis, Ms. Doe's cancer had progressed to Stage IV at the time it was diagnosed, making treatment impossible. Back to top

Bookshar v. Kay

Franklin County | $475,000 Settlement

$475,000 settlement on behalf of 50-year-old laborer against defendant surgeon who permanently damaged plaintiff's radial nerve during surgery to repair a right elbow fracture. Defendant surgeon admitted the technique he employed during surgery was not a proper means of fixation, and in fact, left a 10-centimeter segment of nerve missing. Plaintiff did not return to work for 15 months, has had to undergo six surgeries, and has endured extensive physical therapy and rehabilitation.

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Weigand v. Barnesville Hospital

Belmont County | $400,000 Settlement

$400,000 settlement. Medical negligence/wrongful death. Failure to timely diagnose and treat infective endocarditis in a 40-year-old single woman. No dependents. No economic loss.

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Shardell v. Grant/Riverside Meth. Hospitals, Et Al.

Franklin County | $390,000 Settlement

A stillbirth of a healthy term baby due to a failure by the OB-GYN to timely respond to fetal distress and timely deliver the baby.

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Diederich v. PHC, INC.

Franklin County | $200,000 Settlement

$200,000 settlement demand paid on morning of trial for death of newborn, despite testimony of eight local obstetricians that the care of the defendants complied with acceptable medical practice. Plaintiffs established that refusal of obstetricians to criticize local colleagues was a "conspiracy of silence," and that plaintiff had not been informed of a safer way to manage her pregnancy, which would have avoided the death of her child.

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