Law Firm Verdicts and Settlements for Medical Malpractice in New York
Medical Malpractice – Settlement $3,495,000.00
Failure to diagnose osteomyelitis following surgery resulted in permanent nerve damage.
Dental/Surgical Malpractice – Verdict $2,250,000.00
An infant plaintiff was unable to breathe following post-surgical extubation. An emergency tracheotomy was performed. Approximately ten days later, a doctor, using a flashlight, looked into plaintiff’s mouth and noticed that a gauze pack that the anesthesiologist negligently failed to remove during the surgery was stuck in the infant’s throat. When the nurse pulled the gauze pack out of plaintiff’s throat, the child was able to breathe normally.
Experts: Oral surgeon, Anesthesiologist.
Dental/Surgical Malpractice – Verdict $2,250,000.00
Foreign object left in place after surgery.
Medical Malpractice – Failure to Diagnose Fractured Vertebrae – Settlement $1,000,000.00
This matter was for medical malpractice in failing to diagnose and treat a fracture of the T10 vertebrae following a fall down a flight of stairs in the plaintiff’s home. As a result of the malpractice/delayed diagnosis, the then 88-year old plaintiff sustained spinal cord compression, spinal cord contusion, and epidural hematoma causing partial paralysis, from which he only partially recovered.
Medical Malpractice – Settlement $1,000,000.00
Failure to diagnose pulmonary embolism causing wrongful death.
Medical Malpractice – Settlement $925,000.00
Failure to diagnose herniated disc.
Medical Malpractice – Settlement $925,000.00
Plaintiff was injured when he slipped and fell down a flight of stairs while on the job. He spoke with the personal injury attorneys at our Manhattan office after other attorneys had advised him that he had no lawsuit to pursue and that his only recourse was to claim Worker’s Compensation benefits. We realized that he had a meritorious lawsuit against the hospital and doctor for failing to diagnose that, due to the fall, he had sustained a herniated disc in his neck. The delay in diagnosis had worsened his condition and required emergency surgery. He was left with permanent spinal cord damage. Our client was able to recover both damages in the lawsuit and Worker’s Compensation benefits. An interesting note in this case is that the investigator hired by the defendant’s insurance company to secretly record surveillance videotape of our client tried to trick our client by calling him and falsely telling him that he had won free Yankee World Series tickets and that he had to pick-up at Yankee Stadium immediately. It was only later, when we were given the videotape and showed it to our client, that he was able to figure out why, when he had arrived at Yankee Stadium on that day, there were no tickets for him, and nobody there knew what free tickets he was talking about.
Experts: Vocational economist, Orthopedist, Neurologist.
Medical Malpractice – Severed Nerve During Surgery – $825,000.00 Settlement
We got this case on the eve of the expiration of the statute of limitations because the client’s previous lawyer was unable to locate an expert. Our client, age 52, underwent surgery for release of ulnar nerve entrapment. Immediately following the surgery she had complete numbness along the distribution of the nerve. The surgeon’s partner performed surgery to try to correct the problem. In his operative report, the second surgeon noted that he observed the free ends of the ulnar nerve, where it had apparently been severed during the first surgery. We were able to locate an expert who opined that although an injury to the nerve could be an unavoidable occurrence during the surgery, the total severing of the nerve was unacceptable.
Expert: Orthopedic Surgeon
Medical Malpractice – Injury During Implantation of Defibrillator – Settlement $800,000.00
In this case, our office represented a woman who had a defibrillator implanted by prominent interventional cardiologists. Immediately after the procedure, our client experienced shortness of breath and chest pain. The doctors failed to diagnose that in inserting the defibrillator, the atrial lead had perforated the pericardium and right atrium. Instead, our client was incorrectly diagnosed with an inflammatory process. As such, our client was unnecessarily treated with steroids over a period of time, and she underwent numerous thorancentesis procedures due to multiple, recurrent pleural effusions. Eventually our client went to a hospital in New York City where a correct diagnosis was made. Unfortunately, as a result of the unnecessary steroid treatment, our client developed avascular necrosis and had to have surgery for a hip replacement.
Medical Malpractice – Injury to Mother During Childbirth – Settlement $600,000.00
Settlement during trial on behalf of a 30 year-old woman who sustained a tear of her uterus and uterine artery during the birth of her first child. Our client underwent numerous surgical procedures to control post-partum hemorrhage, but ultimately had to undergo a hysterectomy. Levine & Slavit retained an obstetrician/gynecologist to review the hospital record. In the expert’s opinion, the injury occurred because the doctor who was delivering the baby, in using a vacuum to assist in the delivery, used the vacuum in an improper way causing the injuries. Through careful questioning of the defendant doctor at his deposition, the doctor essentially confirmed that he had used the vacuum in the manner that the expert said was improper. At trial, the defendant doctor, apparently realizing that his answers at the deposition were not correct, attempted to explain that his deposition testimony were misunderstood. The case settled during the defendant doctor’s testimony at trial. Of note is that before the client came to our office, a prominent New York City law firm had rejected this case.
Medical Malpractice – Failure to Timely Diagnose Appendicitis – Settlement $450,000.00
In this case, our client went to an emergency room of a hospital complaining of severe abdominal pain and vomiting. The triage nurse noted a history of abdominal pain and vomiting lasting for approximately 20 hours. The emergency room doctor, however, wrote that our client had been experiencing symptoms for about 4 hours. After giving our client intravenous fluids and observing her for a few hours, the doctor discharged our client and told her it was safe for her to fly as she and her family had planned. By the time our client arrived at her destination, her appendix had burst. She initially underwent surgery and treatment at a local hospital, but then had to be airlifted to a major city hospital due to severe peritonitis and other life-threatening conditions. As a result of the delay, our client suffers from internal scarring that interferes with her bladder function. At the deposition that our office took of the emergency room physician, he in essence confirmed that had he correctly realized that our client had been experiencing her severe symptoms for 20 rather than for 4 hours, he would not have discharged her without giving her much stronger discharge instructions than he gave her to return to the hospital if her symptoms persisted.
Medical Malpractice – Failure to Diagnose Necrotizing Enterocolitis in Premature Infant – Settlement $350,000.00
An infant born at 25 weeks gestation and then developed signs and symptoms of necrotizing enterocolitis while in the neonatal intensive care unit. Because the condition was not diagnosed in a timely manner, surgery was required resulting in significant abdominal scarring and the loss of portions of the small intestine. The matter was settled after the jury failed to reach a verdict following a three week trial.
Home Health Aide Negligence – $250,000.00 Settlement
Surveillance cameras placed in our client’s home by her family because of a prior dishonest home health aide revealed that when our elderly client fell, the aide continued to watch television and even went to the kitchen and made herself a sandwich. Our client was discovered on the floor of her living room by her daughter who happened to stop by to drop off some groceries. The aide told her that her mother had just fallen to the floor, but the surveillance film revealed that she had been on the floor for almost an hour while the aide ate and watched television.
Dental Malpractice – Lack of Informed Consent – Settlement $95,000.00
Our client went to a new dentist whose improper preparation and insertion of a bridge, and improper root canal therapy, led to further teeth decay. The dentist then informed our client, who was in her 50’s, that it was necessary that all of her remaining teeth be extracted and she wear full upper and lower dentures for the rest her life. The defendant dentist admitted at his deposition that he did not give our client any alternatives to the dentures. He also admitted that our client had informed him when she first saw him that her mother had worn dentures, and she had hoped to avoid wearing dentures herself. We retained an expert who opined that the defendant dentist’s root canal therapy was improperly performed, that there were preferable alternatives to dentures, such as implants, and that the defendant, who was a general dentist, should have referred our client to specialists.
Failure to Disclose Life-Threatening Blood Disorder – Settlement Confidential
Plaintiff underwent a thorough pre-employment physical, including a laboratory analysis of his blood. The plaintiff was told that the results of the examination were normal. Approximately one year after the plaintiff was working at the company, during which time he received medical attention at the company’s medical office without improvement in his condition, he was seen by an outside physician. The doctor immediately recognized a dire situation, which was diagnosed as suffering from chronic myelogenous leukemia (“CML”), a condition which, if left untreated, is life threatening. When the outside doctor obtained the results of blood tests performed in connection with plaintiff’s pre-employment physical, plaintiff learned for the first time that the blood tests were not normal as his employer had advised, but that it showed abnormalities indicative of CML. As a result of the plaintiff’s delay in learning of the disease, he sustained a significantly diminished loss of chance for cure, and extreme mental anguish from his awareness of the implications of the loss of the year in obtaining treatment due to the delayed diagnosis. This case was settled only after the personal injury attorneys from our Manhattan office successfully defeated multiple motions to dismiss plaintiff’s complaint upon multiple grounds, including that the action was barred by the Workers’ Compensation Law. Had the defendants prevailed on any one of the grounds upon which dismissal was sought, plaintiff’s case would have been dismissed.
* Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.