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Medical Malpractice & Healthcare


Recent Jury Trial Victories

Finch v. Srinivas
On November 19, 2009, Frilot attorneys Peter E. Sperling and John B. Cazale obtained a defense verdict in a medical malpractice jury trial in St. Tammany Parish. In Finch v. Srinivas, No. 2001-12119, 22nd JDC, plaintiffs, the surviving spouse and daughter of the decedent patient, brought a wrongful death and survival action against Frilot's client, the treating gastroenterologist. The claim involved an alleged failure to timely diagnose and treat an abdominal obstruction which was complicated by significant vascular compromise. The patient died during surgery performed to decompress the abdomen. Plaintiffs' experts alleged that the defendant was negligent in performing unnecessary and time consuming tests; in electing to attempt conservative measures rather than taking the patient immediately to surgery; and in failing to recognize the severity of the medical condition from the outset based upon the patient's presentation to the emergency room. After a four day trial, the jury ruled in favor of the defendant gastroenterologist.

Leonard A. Martin, et al v. Lakeland Medical Center, et al
Frilot attorneys Peter E. Sperling and Nairda T. Colón (Lesa) obtained a directed verdict in a medical malpractice jury trial in the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans held June 23-29, 2009. In Leonard A. Martin, et al v. Lakeland Medical Center, et al, the plaintiffs contended Kimberly Martin was not an appropriate candidate for a nurse midwifery program. Plaintiffs further claimed that once admitted to Lakeland Medical Center for preterm labor on October 31, 1994, Mrs. Martin should not have been treated with dual tocolytics. Mrs. Martin alleged she developed fluid overload, pulmonary edema, leading to an emergency c-section. Plaintiffs further contended the child's premature birth caused him to be diagnosed with cerebral palsy, asthma, and learning disorders. The trial court dismissed the case against Frilot’s client, Lakeland Medical Center, at the close of plaintiffs' evidence on the grounds that they failed to meet their burden of proof.

Norwood v. Medina
Frilot attorneys Peter E. Sperling and John B. Cazale obtained a defense verdict in a medical malpractice jury trial in the 19th Judicial District Court held January 5-8,2009. In Norwood v. Medina, plaintiffs were the 10 surviving children of a patient who died as the result of an ischemic stroke. Plaintiffs contended that the defendant internal medicine specialist failed to timely and appropriately treat the stroke. The Baton Rouge jury found that the defendant did not breach the applicable standard of care in his treatment of the decedent.

Dillon vs. Hubbell and Southern Pain & Anesthesia Consultants
Bruce A. Cranner obtained a defense verdict for a client in a medical malpractice case (Dillon vs. Hubbell and Southern Pain & Anesthesia Consultants) in Jefferson Parish. Our client, an anesthesiologist and pain management specialist, treated the plaintiff for persistent headaches and neck pain stemming from a work related incident. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant physician breached the standard of care in the performance of discogram and steroid injection procedures, failed to obtain adequate informed consents for the procedures and failed to keep medical records. However, a trial judge found no evidence presented to support the plaintiff’s claims and rendered a verdict in favor of the defense.

• Peter E. Sperling and Angie M. Bowlin successfully defended Tulane University Hospital and Clinic in a slip and fall action filed on behalf of a husband and wife who fell at the hospital. Both plaintiffs sustained serious injuries and both underwent back surgeries. The falls occurred in an area of the hospital where Tulane’s housekeeping staff had just finished mopping the floor. Plaintiffs testified that there were no 'wet floor” signs in the immediate vicinity, while Tulane’s witnesses maintained that the signs were in place. In closing argument, plaintiffs’ counsel asked for an award in excess of seven figures for each plaintiff. After a two week trial, the jury in Orleans Parish returned a unanimous verdict in favor of Tulane.

• Peter Sperling and John B. Cazale obtained a defense verdict for a client in the 19th Judicial District Court, East Baton Rouge Parish, before Judge William Morvant. The plaintiff alleged that our client, HealthSouth Surgi-Center of Baton Rouge, received an intravascular injection of anesthetic medications during an axillary nerve block. Plaintiff claimed that our client failed to aspirate the syringe with the anesthetic medications prior to injection of the anesthetic agents. These anesthetic agents were then injected into his artery, which traveled to his brain, resulting in long-term, residual neuropsychological damage. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the defense, finding no breach of the standard of care.

• Peter Sperling and John Cazale secured a victory on behalf of a nephrologist insured by St. Paul Travelers Insurance Company when a 12-member jury unanimously rendered a verdict in favor of the doctor. The medical malpractice case was tried in the 24th Judicial District Court for Jefferson Parish before Judge Hans Liljeberg. The events leading up to the case began when a patient died from a perforated ulcer. Suit was brought by the decedent’s wife and six adult children, alleging a failure on the doctor’s part to diagnose an ulcer at an earlier stage in treatment; failure to order appropriate tests to diagnose an ulcer; failure to appropriately refer the decedent to a gastroenterologist; failure to warn the decedent not to take certain medications which could lead to development of an ulcer, and failure to advise the decedent of the risks associated with taking certain medications which could lead to the development of an ulcer.

Marianne S. James, et al. v. John N. Kent, DDS, et al (2005)
Frilot L.L.C. successfully defended the State of Louisiana, LSU Dental School, in litigation involving TMJ implants. This complex medical device litigation has involved both defense of a national class action and over 650 individual cases. This lawsuit, filed as a national class action, in which plaintiffs accused LSU of hiding the results of earlier studies of the Teflon-coated jaw implant that ruined their health, was dismissed by an Orleans Parish Judge.

Bourgeois, et al v. A.P. Green Industries, Inc., et al, (La. 2001)
The firm defended a major manufacturer in Louisiana’s seminal medical monitoring class action: Bourgeois v. A.P. Green Industries, Inc., et al, and Bourgeois, et al v. A.P. Green Industries, Inc., et al.

Physician Defense Litigation

Bariatric Surgeon: The firm defended St. Paul and one of its insured physicians, a bariatric surgeon, in a medical malpractice case in the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans. The plaintiff’s survivors alleged that the defendant physician failed to properly monitor the patient during the post-operative period. After a 3 week trial, the jury returned a defense verdict and awarded the plaintiffs no money.

Pediatrician: The firm successfully defended a pediatrician in malpractice claim involving a brain damaged child. This case was tried before a jury.

Oral Surgeon: Members of the Medical Malpractice & Healthcare team successfully defended oral surgeon in a jury trial involving a malpractice/informed consent claim based upon complications following third molar extraction.

General Surgeon: A defense verdict was obtained for a surgeon in claim involving common bile duct injury following laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

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