Practice Areas

Three Trial Wins Obtained in the First Quarter by BSPH Attorneys

Nursing Negligence and Wrongful Death Action

Bret C. Perry obtained a defense verdict in a nursing negligence and wrongful death action following a seven-day trial on behalf of a skilled nursing and long-term care facility. Plaintiff claimed that the decedent suffered from uncontrolled diarrhea for over three months and that the nursing staff failed to investigate the cause or report the frequency of the bowel movements to the attending physician. As a result, Plaintiff asserted that the decedent lost thirty pounds in eleven weeks, became progressively dehydrated, and ultimately died.

The BSPH defense team was able to counter those claims by offering evidence that the attending physician was aware of the uncontrolled diarrhea, that the frequent bowel movements were related to underlying disease processes, and that the death was not due to dehydration. Rather, the decedent died due to multi-system organ failure caused by a recent stroke. Plaintiff's final pretrial demand was $2,000,000. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the defense in less than two hours.

Medical Malpractice Action

John S. Polito obtained a dismissal with prejudice of their client, an obstetrician-gynecologist, on the fourth day of trial in a medical malpractice action. The Cuyahoga County lawsuit involved Plaintiff's claim that the physician was negligent in permitting a trial of labor, which involved shoulder dystocia during the course of delivery. Plaintiff asserted that, as a result, there was a permanent brachial plexus injury to the infant.

BSPH presented a strong defense at the start of trial. In response, Plaintiff decided to dismiss the BSPH client physician, rather than permit the matter to proceed to jury verdict.

Nursing Negligence and Wrongful Death Action

Donald H. Switzer and Ronald A. Margolis obtained a defense verdict on behalf of an emergency medicine physician accused of failing to work up a patient for Cauda Equina Syndrome. Plaintiffs' claimed that the emergency department physician was negligent in failing to appropriately workup and order diagnostic testing, after a sixty-six-year-old male presented to the emergency room with severe back pain and a history of spine disorder. According to Plaintiffs, Cauda Equina Syndrome was not diagnosed for a period of twenty-four hours, there-by delaying decompression surgery and leaving Plaintiff with bladder and bowel incontinence, as well as significant gait abnormalities requiring in-patient, occupation and physical therapy.

The defense relied heavily on the expert testimony of spine surgeon, Dr. Lee Riley from Johns Hopkins Hospital. BSPH attorneys were also successful in obtaining significant admissions from Plaintiffs' emergency medicine expert during cross-examination, which narrowed the allegations of negligence. This case presented multiple challenges with the volume of medical records and complexity of the Plaintiff's pre-existing spinal disorder and Cauda Equina Syndrome. Nurse-paralegal Megan T. Schumacher developed a computer trial database and medical art, which greatly assisted the defense team throughout tri-al. The jury returned a defense verdict in less than three hours.