"Largest Settlements of 2005"

As listed in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, January 16, 2006

Lubin & Meyer leads the way again with
9 settlements of $1 million or more in 2005

Related excerpts from Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly article

$4.75 million - Man suffers brain damage following heart attack
Plaintiff’s counsel: Andrew C. Meyer Jr. and Krysia J. Syska, Lubin & Meyer, Boston
The plaintiff presented to the emergency room for evaluation of chest pain that had developed suddenly. The defendant physician evaluated the plaintiff. One of the tests ordered by the defendant was Troponin I. At that time, Troponin I was relatively new, and the test results were being sent to another hospital’s laboratory for interpretation. The plaintiff was discharged by the defendant despite the fact that the Troponin I test result was still pending. The Troponin I level test came back and was elevated and stated clearly on the report that the value was indicative of myocardial injury. The ER nurse indicated that she attempted to find the plaintiff prior to his leaving the parking lot, but he had already left the hospital grounds. The plaintiff was never contacted regarding the elevated Troponin level and was never informed of the need to return to the hospital. The plaintiff was found at home gurgling and breathing abnormally. He then stopped breathing. Myocardial infarction was confirmed the next day.

$3.5 million - Patient suffers neurological deterioration despite testing
Plaintiff’s counsel: Andrew C. Meyer Jr. and Krysia J. Syska, Lubin & Meyer, Boston
The decedent carried a fifteen year history of systemic lupus as well as a mild history of thrombocytopenia and other abnormalities of the proteins in her blood, all of which, collectively, placed her at increased risk for thromboembolic events. The decedent was examined by the first defendant due to a two-day history of headache and upper neck pain. No imaging studies or diagnostic tests were performed. The headache did not resolve. The defendant emergency room resident and the defendant ER attending radiologist obtained a head CT scan and lumbar puncture. The CT scan was performed and interpreted by the defendant attending radiologist. Based on the negative testing, the decedent was sent home with a prescription for pain medication and instructions to follow-up with her primary physician. Her prognosis eventually became grave, and she continued to neurologically deteriorate. The decedent was eventually determined to be brain dead by protocol and died after organ donation.

$3.5 million - Man undergoes disc surgery, wakes up a paraplegic
Plaintiff’s counsel: Andrew C. Meyer Jr. and Robert M. Higgins, Lubin & Meyer, Boston
The 35-year-old plaintiff reported that he had strained his neck, and the defendant performed a C6-7 cervical diskectomy. During the procedure, the defendant noted in his records that he noticed a small dural leak during the surgery. At the completion of the procedure, the plaintiff was unable to move his lower extremities. The plaintiff was discharged to New England Rehabilitation Hospital, where he was noted to have very limited movement of his upper extremities, no pain or temperature sense in his feet and no movement of his lower extremities. The plaintiff is in a wheelchair, has no movement of his lower extremities, and has no bowel or bladder control. It was the plaintiff’s position that the spinal cord trauma and subsequent bleeding could only have occurred as a result of negligence by the defendant during the course of the surgery. The defendant acknowledged that it would have been negligent to injure the spinal cord during the surgery. However, the defendant testified that he always took care to avoid injury to the spinal cord and indicated that he was not near the spinal cord during the plaintiff’s surgery.

$2.9 million - Man suffers stroke while driving to doctor’s office
Plaintiff’s counsel: Andrew C. Meyer Jr. and Robert M. Higgins, Lubin & Meyer, Boston
The plaintiff presented to the defendant’s office with complaints of lightheadedness and nausea. Without any testing, the defendant diagnosed the plaintiff with an otitis media and prescribed an antibiotic and an antihistamine. The plaintiff returned to the defendant’s office after having completed the prescribed course of antibiotic therapy and informed the defendant that he continued to experience lightheadedness and nausea and was also experiencing double vision. The plaintiff was evaluated by an ENT who was unable to come to a definitive cause for the plaintiff’s dizziness and double vision. The plaintiff phoned the defendant’s office to report severe lightheadedness and double vision again and the defendant scheduled an appointment for the plaintiff. The plaintiff left his home later that morning and headed to the defendant’s office, but never arrived. He was found unresponsive in his car at the side of the road. The plaintiff now resides in a nursing home. He is a quadriplegic and is only able to communicate by blinking his eyes in response to questions.

$2 million - Complaints of back pain followed by cardiac arrest
Plaintiff’s counsel: Andrew C. Meyer Jr. and Robert M. Higgins, Lubin & Meyer, Boston
The plaintiff’s decedent underwent surgery to insert an aortic valve graft. He had no post-operative complications and was discharged home three days later. Within a day of returning home, the plaintiff’s decedent was noted to have trouble keeping his coagulation in the correct range, so he was readmitted to the Lahey Clinic to regulate his blood levels. The plaintiff’s decedent later experienced a sudden onset of pain between his shoulder blades, into his back and chest. He walked to the nurse’s station and reported to the defendant nurse that he was scared of the sudden pain, and asked to see the doctor on call. The nurse checked his vital signs, which were reportedly normal, and then called the on-call physician’s defendant assistant. The assistant allegedly indicated that she was not coming to see the patient because he was difficult and was always complaining about something. The decedent then suffered cardiopulmonary arrest and was pronounced dead.

$1.96 million - Family seeks redress for law firm’s failure to comply with the FTCA notice provisions
Plaintiff’s counsel: Andrew C. Meyer Jr. and William J. Thompson, Lubin & Meyer, Boston
The plaintiffs were a brain damaged 10-year-old girl and her parents. The law firm was unaware that three of the four potential defendants in the medical malpractice case were federal employees working at a federally funded health center. The law firm did not discover the potential defendants' federal employee status until after the two year notice period had expired. Given the law firm’s failure to comply with the FTCA notice provisions, the federal court dismissed the three federal employee physicians from the case. The 1st Circuit upheld the decision. The case was tried in state court against the one remaining defendant doctor. The jury returned a verdict for the defendant. The plaintiffs then sought redress for the law firm’s failure to comply with the FTCA notice provisions. A legal malpractice action was filed, and written discovery requests were served. The case was settled before any written discovery was answered, and before any depositions were conducted. The case settled for the limits of the available insurance policy. It was a two million dollar policy with a wasting provision for defense costs.

$1.5 million - Woman dies of toxic shock syndrome following breast biopsy
Plaintiff’s counsel: Andrew C. Meyer Jr. and Suzanne C.M. McDonough, Lubin & Meyer, Boston
A 55-year-old woman underwent an uncomplicated breast biopsy. Several days later, she developed signs of overwhelming infection. Two weeks later, she died of toxic shock syndrome arising out of the infected biopsy site. The plaintiffs claimed the decedent had signs of toxic shock syndrome shortly after arrival to the emergency room, the defendants failed to properly diagnose and treat her and that as a direct result she died. The defendants maintained that their care of the plaintiff’s decedent was at all times in compliance with the applicable standards of care.

$1 million - Patient dies of prostate cancer following years of testing
Plaintiff’s counsel: Andrew C. Meyer Jr. and Krysia J. Syska, Lubin & Meyer, Boston
The decedent was evaluated by the defendant urologist who documented an enlarged prostate and a PSA of 2.9. The decedent then complained to the defendant PCP of fever and nocturia, and another course of antibiotics was prescribed. Later that month a urine culture was negative, so the decedent was referred back to the defendant urologist. The defendant urologist evaluated the decedent and noted his recent urinary symptoms. The defendants allegedly failed to make recommendations for further evaluation and follow up of the findings. Eventually, a CT scan revealed metastases to his liver, bone and lymph nodes such that the decedent died of metastatic prostate cancer.

$1 million - Baby dies of hypovolemic shock
Plaintiff’s counsel: Andrew C. Meyer Jr. and Suzanne C.M. McDonough, Lubin & Meyer, Boston
The plaintiffs claimed that while an inpatient, their 10-month-old child exhibited signs consistent with dehydration and impending shock and that the defendants failed to appropriately manage the child’s condition, directly resulting in his death. The covering physician had diagnosed gastroenteritis with moderate to severe dehydration. The primary pediatrician arrived and diagnosed hypovolemic shock secondary to gastroenteritis and dehydration. Resuscitative efforts were unsuccessful and the child was pronounced dead.

See also: Largest Settlements in 2003

See also: Featured Verdicts of 2004

See also: Largest Settlements in 2005

See also: Top Verdicts of 2005

See also: Largest Settlements in 2006

See also: Largest Settlements 2007

See also: Top Verdicts 2007

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