Obtained summary judgment for a hospital sued when its emergency department allegedly failed to properly diagnose and treat an 8 year-old brittle diabetic boy who died following a bout of nausea and vomiting.
Won wrongful death defense verdict after jury trial for doctor charged with contradicting patient instructions for anesthesia, and claiming lack of informed consent.
Obtained summary judgment in favor of hospital in case alleging negligent credentialing of a surgeon who had been charged with wrongful death.
Regularly provide advisory services to quality assurance and peer review panels, consisting of investigation of incidents, provision of expert reviews, and assessments of potential claims.
Won jury verdicts in favor of surgeons in cases where the surgeons were charged with wrongful death in connection with failed gastric bypass surgeries.
Won jury verdict in favor of a surgeon who was charged with performing unnecessary surgery upon a patient with chronic pain secondary to a duodenal ulcer, and then purposefully killing the patient to cover up his negligence.
Won jury verdict in favor of a surgeon charged with negligently damaging his patient’s common bile duct during gall bladder surgery.
Won jury verdict in favor of a dentist charged with negligently performing oral surgery on his patient.
Won jury verdict for a urologist in a prostate cancer treatment case.
The plaintiff alleged that the defendant physician had failed to appropriately treat the patient’s prostate cancer through use of gold-seed implant/radiation therapy. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant physician. The Alabama Supreme Court reversed the directed verdict and ordered a second trial. The second trial resulted in a verdict in favor or our clients and was affirmed.
Obtained summary judgment in favor of a dentist charged with negligently performing a root canal on his patient.
Obtained summary judgment in favor of a urologist charged with negligently administering a dose of bovine TB to a patient to treat bladder cancer. The patient contracted tuberculosis as the result of the treatment.
Obtained summary judgment for a nursing home charged with neglect/abuse of a resident.
Obtained summary judgment in favor of a psychiatrist charged with negligently releasing a patient from his care who subsequently committed suicide.
Obtained summary judgment for a physician nutritionist charged with failing to provide informed consent and to abide by dietary protocols associated with an experimental weight loss medicine.
Obtained summary judgment in a medical malpractice case involving misdiagnosis of breast cancer.
Representation in various matters of obstetrician/gynecologists, neonatologists, and neurosurgeons sued as a result of brain damage to infants.
Defense of emergency room physicians sued in a failure to diagnose case. The plaintiff alleged that the physicians failed to diagnose the plaintiff’s metabolic acidosis.
Defense of multiple physicians in various licensing and privilege proceedings related to alleged malpractice claims.
Defense of a mental health center and a therapist in a claim arising from a jail suicide.
Defense of a physician in a case involving failure to diagnose and breach of physician-patient privilege. Summary judgment was entered in favor of the physician.
Defense of an orthopedic surgeon charged with negligently performing knee surgery which ultimately led to the amputation of the plaintiff’s leg.
Defense of a treating physician during his deposition in a case arising from alleged malpractice in the performance of a lumbar laminectomy by another physician.
Medical Malpractice Defense Verdict
DRI members Harold Stephens and Michael P. Huff, both from our Huntsville office, recently obtained a defense verdict in a medical malpractice case. The case involved allegations that their physician client, an OB/GYN, improperly performed a bilateral tubal ligation on the plaintiff without her consent and also failed to suture the plaintiff’s uterus properly following a C-section delivery.
The plaintiff was a 36-year-old female who delivered her fifth child (seventh pregnancy) via a C-section, after confirmation via ultrasound of a breech presentation. The plaintiff alleged that after the C-section, she endured months of extreme abdominal pain until a subsequent treating OB/GYN performed surgery and allegedly found her uterus “sewn” shut and her cervix left open to the abdominal cavity. Prior to the post-delivery surgery, an ultrasound revealed the presence of a left ovarian cyst. However, the subsequent treating OB/GYN made no mention of finding a cyst during his exploratory laparotomy. He did report significant inflammatory findings; however, a post-surgery pathology report indicated no infection was present. The subsequent treating doctor also acknowledged that the irregularities he found in the plaintiff’s anatomy were in precisely the same areas where he was dissecting with sharp scissors. At trial, the defense expert testified that the subsequent treating physician was likely the cause of the condition he purportedly found, based upon how he performed the second procedure. The expert further testified that the sutures used to close the C-section incision would have been absorbed at the time of the second surgery, making it impossible for the subsequent physician to have found the uterus “sewn” shut. The type of sutures used to close in the original C-section would have been dissolved weeks earlier.
The plaintiff also alleged that she did not consent to a bilateral tubal ligation. The plaintiff and her OB/GYN both testified that an ultrasound that was performed at 34-weeks indicated a breech presentation. Both agreed that the physician defendant spoke at that time with the plaintiff about a C-section, as well as a tubal ligation. The physician testified that the plaintiff at that time expressed a desire for a bilateral tubal ligation. The plaintiff testified she did not. While the first consent form signed by the plaintiff did not reference the tubal ligation procedure, a second consent form was signed that included the tubal ligation, after an ultrasound was performed to confirm the breech presentation and the necessity of a C-section. The plaintiff denied ever signing the second consent form. A forensic handwriting expert presented by the defense testified that, based upon his analysis of various forms that the plaintiff admitted to signing and his review of the original signature on the tubal consent form, he was certain that the signature on the tubal consent form was that of the plaintiff.
After a week of trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the physician and co-defendant hospital.
To learn more about DRI, an international membership organization of attorneys defending the interests of business and individuals in civil litigation, visit www.dri.org.