Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

$2 Million – Medical Negligence Settlement

Plaintiff was admitted to the Defendant Hospital for observation with complaints of right arm and leg numbness. The following morning Plaintiff suffered a large left middle cerebral artery infarct/stroke. Plaintiffs allege that the nurses at the hospital failed to properly monitor her and that the physician failed to obtain a consult with a neurologist in a timely fashion. John N. Hamilton resolved case at mediation for $2 million.

$1.425 Million – Cervical Cancer Misdiagnosis Settlement

S. Sammy Cacciatore and Jamie Nance represented the family of 38-year-old mother, who died from cervical cancer due to the negligence of her physician. The United States Air Force employed the deceased’s husband for the years leading up to his wife’s death, and he was stationed at Patrick Air Force Base. Consequently, she routinely sought medical care and attention at the base hospital.Pap smears were performed on our client at the base hospital and sent to Keesler Air Force base in Mississippi for review by cytotechnologists working for the Air Force. There were three smears that were the subject of this litigation. On each occasion, they were reported by the Keesler cytotechnologists and cytopathologists as normal.

Due to increased symptoms, our client sought the advice of a local gynecologist, who ordered another pap smear. That smear was determined to be positive for cervical cancer. Due to that positive finding, the examining gynecologist, along with a local, private pathologist, ordered the previous slides. After reviewing those slides, a local pathologist determined that the earlier smears had been misread.Our client then underwent an aggressive therapy program, including chemotherapy, in an effort to save her life. These efforts, unfortunately, failed.

The expert pathologist on behalf of the plaintiff was given the opportunity to review the smears. She read them as abnormal and indicative of cervical cancer. One of the slides, after being reviewed by the Plaintiff’s treating doctor, was lost by the government before experts could review it for the plaintiffs and the defendant. At a later date, the pathologist retained by the government agreed that one of the slides had been misread by the Keesler cytotechnologist and that this was substandard. However, he argued with the interpretation of the slide offered by Plaintiff’s treating doctor and the plaintiff’s expert in North Carolina. The government also vigorously argued that even had the diagnosis been made in a timelier manner, because of the aggressive nature of her cancer, it would not have materially affected the outcome.

The Plaintiff’s expert oncologist disagreed and asserted the opinion that had the pap smears been read properly and in a timely manner, our client’s life would have been saved. S. Sammy Cacciatore and Jamie Nance reached a settlement with the United States government for $1.425 million.

$1 Million – Medical Malpractice/ Physician Failed to Recognize Child Abuse

The infant was taken to her primary care physician practicing in Port St. John, Florida. She had bruises on her face and exhibited other signs of child abuse. Despite these signals, her physician released the infant back into the custody of her abusive mother. Subsequently, the infant sustained severe injuries including a fractured skull and permanent blindness. Attorney Jack Hamilton represented the guardian of the infant in her claim against the physician and obtained a one million dollar recovery on her behalf which will provide benefits to her over her lifetime. This case, involving the failure to recognize the signs and symptoms of child abuse is believed to be one of the first of its kind in the State of Florida.

$792,000 – Medical Malpractice Trial

Our client came to the Brevard County area as an exchange student from Pau, France. She spent six weeks in Brevard County together with other exchange students. She turned sixteen while here in Florida. A few days after she turned sixteen she began experiencing pelvic pains. She was initially seen at the emergency room at Palm Bay Community Hospital for pelvic pain. She was referred to Dr. Ronald Thompson. She saw Dr. Thompson the following Monday who after a cursory examination informed her that everything was fine and that she could return to France on the following Saturday as scheduled. She did not get any better. Her complaints suddenly reached a crescendo at Orlando International Airport when she was waiting for the plane to France. She was seen in the emergency room in Orlando and then transferred back to Melbourne because that’s where the family with whom she was staying resided.

She was admitted to Holmes Regional Medical Center under the care of Dr. Thompson who had seen her earlier. After having her on antibiotics for a short time on Monday Dr. Thompson performed an exploratory surgery. He had told her and her father that it was exploratory to confirm his diagnosis. He told them at most he might have to take one ovary and that it would not affect her ability to have children. Dr. Thompson performed the exploratory surgery and without any additional consultation with our client’s parents, he did a complete hysterectomy, removing her uterus, fallopian tubes and both ovaries.

In representing the young woman, S. Sammy Cacciatore showed that it was totally inappropriate to perform the complete hysterectomy. Sammy showed through medical experts that the medical standard of care was to treat a young woman of this age and try to avoid surgery. Physicians need to be very careful and give due consideration to maintaining the fertility of young women and avoiding a full hysterectomy. Here, the appropriate method of treatment would have been IV antibiotic therapy for a minimum period of forty-eight hours before any type of exploratory surgery or other procedure should have been contemplated. Dr. Thompson failed to do that. Once in the surgical site, it was shown through the pathologist that the ovaries and uterus were in a healthy condition. At most there was one infected fallopian tube. Dr. Thompson failed to recognize that the inflammation in the surgical site was due to the one fallopian tube being irritated. Without consent and against what he had told the parents and the client, he removed all of her female organs.

S. Sammy Cacciatore tried the case for this family in the Circuit Court in and for Brevard County before a jury for one week. The jury found that Dr. Thompson had failed to meet the appropriate standard of care and awarded her $692,000.00 and her parents $50,000.00 each for a total jury award of $792,000.00.

$700,000 – Medical Malpractice Settlement

Our client, a 67-year-old wife and homemaker, was admitted to the hospital for what normally would be a simple surgical procedure to repair a clogged artery. Prior to the surgery she was placed on a regimen of anti-coagulation therapy to prevent any clots during and after the surgery. As is the medical standard, upon first giving her the anti-coagulation treatment the hospital staff ordered a prothrombin time (PTT) test in order to determine the levels of anti-coagulation in this patient. The first PTT test confirmed that the decedent was excessively over anti-coagulated. Approximately six hours later as is required by hospital protocol the staff at the hospital performed another PTT analysis. This test revealed that her anti-coagulation was within the normal range. However, this hospitals own protocol required that patients like the decedent exhibit two consecutive PTT evaluations that were deemed to be normal before reducing the number of PTT tests to once every twenty-four hours. Unfortunately, the first “normal” test was the last PTT taken of the decedent until after her surgery the next day.

As a result, it was alleged by Nance Cacciatore through its experts that before the surgery, during the surgery, and following the surgery none of the medical personnel responsible for the care and treatment of the decedent were in any position to accurately describe and predict what her anti-coagulation levels were at these critical moments in her care. Consequently, when surgery was initiated on the decedent the next evening none of the medical personnel could accurately determine what her anti-coagulation levels were when she went into that procedure. Unfortunately, during the surgery the decedent began to express and describe to the medical staff right sided paralysis which was indicative of a growing complication as a result of the surgery.

Following the surgery and owing to her ongoing descriptions of paralysis a CT scan was requested which revealed a hemorrhage in her brain. It was alleged by our experts that this bleeding was indicative of the patient being over anti coagulated. By the early morning hours the decedent was declared brain dead and ultimately expired that same day. Prior to pronouncing her death, the decedent, who is survived by a husband of forty years and three adult children, generously agreed to donate her organs.

Jamie Nance on behalf of this unfortunate woman’s surviving widower was able to secure a settlement of $700,000.00.