$2.8 Million Settlement for Medical Malpractice
- Date: Winter 2012
- Settlement: $2.8 Million
- Practice Areas: Medical Malpractice, Failure to Diagnose, Hyponatremia, Nephrology Malpractice, Improper Hand-off Procedures
The firm settled this medical malpractice case for a Hudson County man who suffered a severe brain injury as a result of medical malpractice for a total of $2,800,000.
Plaintiff, a 50 year-old married man and the father of two daughters, presented to the emergency room in April of 2007 with complaints of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and dizziness. He was diagnosed with hyponatremia: a metabolic condition in which there is not enough sodium or salt in the body. That condition, if properly treated, should result in no long term problems. However, plaintiff’s hyponatremia was negligently treated by over-rapid correction resulting in central pontine myelinolysis, a severe brain injury resulting in the destruction of the myelin sheath that covers nerve cells which prevents signals from being properly transmitted from one nerve to another.
That brain injury initially caused the plaintiff to become comatose, requiring a tracheostomy and feeding tube. After two lengthy stays in acute rehabilitation facilities, the tracheostomy and feeding tubes were removed, however, the plaintiff required then and still requires extensive physical and occupational therapies and is confined to a wheelchair due to his brain injury. Plaintiff also suffers from extremely dysarthric speech, similar to a stroke victim, and has decreased cognitive function, including inappropriate and compulsive behavior. Plaintiff has been unable to return to work since that April 2007 hospitalization, and continues to require assistance with all activities of daily living.
After retaining multiple experts and conducting all necessary pre-trial discovery including dozens of depositions, in the fall of 2011 a settlement was reached with the defendant-nephrologist, who was responsible for the management of plaintiff’s sodium correction, for that doctor’s policy limits of $2,000,000 A trial against the remaining defendants commenced in the late winter of 2012. After several days of testimony, plaintiffs accepted an additional settlement of $800,000 from his treating gastroenterologist and an emergency room nurse for improper treatment including improper hand off procedures.