8/11/2016

Rhode Island Case of Man Hit and Killed by Drunk Driver After Visiting 5 Bars Settles for $6.1 Million

RI Trial Report: Adam R. Satin, Personal Injury Attorney, Lubin & Meyer PC
Type of Action: Wrongful Death / Dram Shop / General Liability

The decedent was 21 years old when he died after being hit by an intoxicated driver. The driver was operating an automobile provided to him by his employer, which was a co-defendant. Over approximately 12 hours preceding the accident, the driver went to 5 different bars, which were also named defendants.

The driver picked up a friend around 1:00 pm to go to lunch. They ended up at Bar #1 where the driver consumed a sandwich, three glasses of wine and split at least three vodka "shots" with his friend, "KB" before heading to Bar #2. The shots were not purchased, but were given to them for free by the bartender. At Bar #2, each consumed one or two drinks before heading to Bar #3. At Bar #3, a computer receipt reflected a credit card purchase by the driver of 2 gin drinks and one Bud Light. At Bar #4, the driver drank two 16 oz. beers before leaving to drive KB's sister home. The driver and KB returned to Bar #4 where the driver had two more 16 oz. beers. They left Bar #4 and, on the walk to the car, KB observed the driver vomit on the street. They waited 10 minutes and proceeded on to Bar #5. While at Bar #5, KB observed the driver acting silly and not making sense when he spoke. She observed that he drank at least three gin and tonics. KB felt his drunkenness had peaked while they were at Bar #5.

Around 1:00 am, Bar #5 closed. KB noticed the driver to be slurring his speech and offered to drive. The driver declined. Just prior to hitting the decedent, KB yelled at the driver that "there's people!" However, the driver continued in the direction of the sidewalk where the decedent was walking. The force of the impact cause the decedent to be thrown under the right front end of the car. He was pronounced dead shortly after.

Several hours after the accident, at 6:00 am, the driver's blood alcohol content was found to be .22. The plaintiff was prepared to offer expert testimony from the fields of Toxicology, Emergency Medicine, Accident Reconstruction and Alcohol Service Industry Management/Training. The 5 bars defended on the basis that there was no evidence the driver was visually intoxicated to the bartenders at any given time. However, plaintiff's experts opined that, based upon scientific extrapolation of what the blood alcohol level would have been at various points in time, the driver was more likely than not visually impaired at all 5 bars before being served more alcohol. The summary judgment motions were denied and the claims were settled with the assistance of a mediator.

Lubin & Meyer PC - Rhode Island's Leader in Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice Law

CONTACT US.

6/22/2016

In Rhode Island: $4 Million Med-Mal Settlement for Spinal Injury Resulting in Paraplegia

Failure to Monitor Patient’s Neurological Status While Intubated Results in Paralysis


Trial Lawyer's Report: William Thompson, Plaintiff's Attorney, Providence Superior Court

The plaintiff was a 46-year-old male who was admitted to the hospital for pneumonia. He was emergently intubated for a decompensating respiratory status secondary to a worsening pulmonary infection. Several days later he was extubated. He continued to have a fever, acute renal failure, respiratory alkalosis, an elevated white blood cell count, and difficulty breathing. He was re-intubated again for a period lasting approximately three days. When he was extubated the second time, he woke up with no feeling or movement in his lower extremities.

An MRI of the spine showed a spinal mass, measuring 1.3 x 0.9 x 3.1cm in the T11-T12 aspect of the spinal cord and high T1 and low T2 signal suggesting hemorrhage or proteinaceous material. The patient was taken to the OR urgently. The patient underwent a decompressive laminectomy of T12-T11 with durotomy and evacuation of intrathecal abscess and hematoma. Post-operatively, he had flaccid bilateral lower extremities and an absent plantar reflex.

The plaintiff claimed that while he was intubated, the defendants should have stopped the sedation at least every four hours to perform a complete neurological examination, including a pain assessment and plantar flexion response. Had this been done, the neurological compromise would have been discovered sooner, and the patient would have had a better outcome. The longer spinal cord impingement exists, the greater the likelihood for permanent neurological injury.

The defendants contended that they met the standard of care and that nothing they did or failed to do was the cause of the patient’s paralysis.

The plaintiff was unmarried. He did not have a meaningful earnings history, and was not employed during the litigation. He was able to complete all tasks of daily living, including cooking, feeding, bathing, and dressing himself, and caring for his personal needs and hygiene. He could drive and was able to live independently.

The lawsuit was settled at mediation following extensive written discovery, and numerous depositions.
  
Lubin & Meyer PC - Rhode Island's Leader in Medical Malpractice Law

CONTACT US.

3/25/2016

RI Medical Malpractice Settlement: $1.5 Million for Failure to Diagnose TIA / Stroke

Lawsuit claimed the emergency department staff was negligent when they failed to recognize and appreciate that she was experiencing transient ischemic attack (TIA) leading to stroke


Trial Lawyer's Report: William Thompson, Plaintiff's Attorney, Washington Superior Court (RI)

The plaintiff, a 54 year old single woman with no children, had a past medical history including hypertension, high cholesterol, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), spinal stenosis, and smoking one pack per day.

She presented to the Emergency Department with complaints of nausea, vomiting, dizziness and right hand weakness. Her vital signs upon arrival were temperature 97.6, blood pressure 148/68, heart rate 100, respiratory rate 20, and room air oxygen saturation 99%. She denied pain. An EKG revealed normal sinus rhythm at 89.

The ED staff noted her symptoms, and noted she had a chiropractor manipulate her neck the day prior. Laboratory studies and a head CT were reported as negative.

She was treated with 325 mg of Aspirin, Zofran, Maalox, and 500cc ml of normal saline (NS). All of the patient’s symptoms resolved. The ED staff diagnosed her with a vasovagal episode and cervical radiculopathy. She was discharged home with prescriptions for Prilosec and aspirin, and instructions to follow-up with her primary care physician.

One week later, she returned to the Emergency Department via ambulance after being found by the side of the bed moaning. She had mental status changes, no movement on the right side, and was moaning and grunting. She was lethargic, aphasic, and had labored breathing.

She was diagnosed with a left middle cerebral artery (MCA) territory infarct; a non-occlusive thrombus in the left common carotid artery deemed to be too large for surgical intervention; and a large patent foramen ovale (PFO). Following rehabilitation, she was walking with assistance including a four-legged cane and a right leg brace. She still had limited use of her right arm and ongoing deficits with speech, reading, writing, and calculations.

The plaintiff claimed the ED staff was negligent when they failed to recognize and appreciate that she was experiencing a TIA, and failed to admit her for further work up including but not limited to brain MRI, echocardiogram and both neurology and cardiac consults to determine the cause of the TIA. The ED staff denied liability, and contended the stroke was unavoidable and not due to any negligence.

The case settled after discovery for $1,500,000.

Lubin & Meyer PC - Rhode Island's Leader in Medical Malpractice Law

CONTACT US.

1/29/2016

Lubin & Meyer Finishes Record Year with 56 Verdicts and Settlements of $1 Million+



Lubin & Meyer PC, with attorneys practicing in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, secured 56 verdicts and settlements of $1 million dollars or more in 2015.

Consistently, Lubin & Meyer dominates the largest verdicts and settlements list as compiled by Lawyers Weekly. This year, the firm resolved more than four times as many million-plus verdicts and settlements than the next closest firm.

Trial reports of most of these cases are available at:
Largest Verdicts and Settlements of 2015

Included in the list is the year's largest verdict of the year (MA):
$35.4 million
Larkin v. Johnston:
28-year-old woman suffers hemorrhagic stroke hours after vaginal delivery of her daughter

Lubin & Meyer PC - Rhode Island's Leader in Medical Malpractice Law

CONTACT US.

8/24/2015

What Patients Can Do To Help Protect Against Hospital Infections

As a follow up to our previous post, How Safe Are Rhode Island Hospitals?, which covered the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) progress report on healthcare-associated infections, we would like to share some tips — also from the CDC — on prevention. The six tips presented below highlight what patients can do to help protect themselves from infection in the hospital setting. For more detailed information, please visit this blog post from CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH.

Lubin & Meyer PC - Rhode Island's Leader in Medical Malpractice Law

5/12/2015

$35.4 Million Verdict for Woman Who Suffers Stroke Hours after Giving Birth

Attorneys Benjamin Novotny and Karen Zahka represented a woman who suffered permanent injuries when she suffered a stroke hours after giving birth. The woman had a serious brain abnormality diagnosed several years prior that had not been put into a patient information database. The verdict, which with interest is more than $41 million is believed to be the largest medical malpractice verdict ever in Massachusetts and one of the largest in New England.

Lubin & Meyer represents plaintiffs in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.

See related coverage of the verdict below.


See also: $35.4M Verdict in Childbirth Stroke Lawsuit

Lubin & Meyer PC - Rhode Island's Leader in Medical Malpractice Law

2/11/2015

How Safe Are Rhode Island Hospitals?

CDC Healthcare Associated Infections Progress Report


The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has released a national and state-by-state progress report on how hospitals and other healthcare facilities are performing in their efforts to eliminate Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs).

The report highlights six infection types:
  • Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI)
  • Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI)
  • Surgical site infections (SSI) - Abdominal Hysterectomy
  • Surgical site infections (SSI) - Colon Surgery
  • MRSA Bacteremia - Laboratory identified hospital-onset bloodstream infections
  • C. difficile - Laboratory identified hospital-onset c. difficile infections

View full size fact sheet
Compared to the national baseline, Rhode Island hospitals showed mixed progress reporting a  decrease in surgical site infections related to abdominal hysterectomies, while showing an increase in catheter-associated urinary tract infections.

For full details download the Rhode Island Fact Sheet.

See also:

Full 2013 HAI Progress Report

HAIs and prevention activities in Rhode Island

Rhode Island validation efforts


Lubin & Meyer PC - Rhode Island's Leader in Medical Malpractice Law

10/31/2014

CBS News Investigation Spotlights Lawsuit Against Use of Aversive Shock Therapy

Lubin & Meyer attorney Benjamin Novotny, who previously sued the Judge Rotenberg Center on behalf of a patient's family over the use of aversive shock therapy, is now representing another former patient in a new lawsuit. The first trial was covered closely by the Boston-area media, and now the second case has prompted a CBS News Investigation, which can be viewed in its entirety below.



Lubin & Meyer PC - Rhode Island's Leader in Medical Malpractice Law

9/18/2014

Robert Higgins: Medical Malpractice "Lawyer of the Year"

Best Lawyers® has selected Lubin & Meyer's Robert M. Higgins as Boston's "Lawyer of the Year" - Medical Malpractice Law for 2015. Best Lawyers is the most trusted guide to legal excellence, and is based upon attorneys evaluating others in their profession using peer surveys. The lawyers being honored as “Lawyers of the Year” have received particularly high ratings and have earned a high level of respect among their peers for their abilities, professionalism, and integrity.

Attorney Higgins has achieved several significant jury verdicts this year including:
  • October 2014$16.7 million verdict for a woman who died of lung cancer after a radiologist missed evidence of the cancer in an X-ray
  • September 2014 - $13 million verdict for the death of 38-year-old man who died following tonsillectomy and throat surgeries.
  • July 2014 - $1 million jury verdict for doctor's failure to diagnose rectal cancer
  • March 2014 - $4.8 million verdict for misdiagnosis of 23-year-old man's fatal heart ailment
For more on the Best Lawyers methodology, please click here.

Lubin & Meyer PC - Rhode Island's Leader in Medical Malpractice Law

7/28/2014

Avoidable Medical Harms in Hospitals Gaining Attention

Rhode Island Public Radio reported this month on a U.S. Senate subcommittee panel where medical experts testified on the need for better metrics for reporting medical mistakes in hospitals. One of the biggest problems, according to those who testified before the Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging, is that hospitals and health agencies are not accurately measuring these harms. 

One expert, Dr. Tejal Gandhi, president of the National Patient Safety Foundation, said that studies show that "medication errors, adverse drug events and injuries due to drugs occur in up to 25 percent of patients within 30 days of being prescribed a drug." Another study accounted for up to 400,000 patient deaths a year caused by medical mistakes in hospitals.

Read the full article on RIPR.com: Health Safety Experts Call For Public Reporting Of Medical Harms.

In a related news item on WPRI, FOX Providence, Channel 12, former Eyewitness News anchor, Pat Mastors is spearheading a national campaign calling for Congress to investigate problems related to unintended medical harm and to add accountability. See the video below.


Lubin & Meyer PC - Rhode Island's Leader in Medical Malpractice Law

9/04/2013

New England's Best Lawyers® Features Andrew Meyer on Cover

Five attorneys at Lubin & Meyer are selected for inclusion in New England's Best Lawyers® 2013, which was distributed in the Boston Globe and the Wall Street Journal on July 12, 2013.

The publication featured Attorney Andrew C. Meyer, Jr. on the cover with a spotlight article on this firm titled "The Powerhouse Firm on Rebuilding Lives and Improving the Practice of Medicine."

The five Lubin & Meyer attorneys selected for inclusion in New England's Best Lawyers 2013 are shown below with the practice areas in which they were honored.

Attorney Practice Area(s)
Andrew C. Meyer, Jr. (pictured) Medical Malpractice Law
Personal Injury Litigation
Robert M. Higgins Medical Malpractice Law
William J. Thompson Personal Injury Litigation
Krysia Syska Medical Malpractice Law
Adam Satin Medical Malpractice Law

New England's Best Lawyers is published by The Best Lawyers in America®. Copyright 2013 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC. Best Lawyers is based on a peer-review survey of attorneys who vote on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed.

Lubin & Meyer's attorneys are licensed to practice in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Hampshire

Lubin & Meyer PC - Rhode Island's Leader in Medical Malpractice Law

6/28/2013

Rhode Island Woman Sues Miriam Hospital for Leaving Medical Device in Her Chest

This recent I-Team report from Providence TV station NBC 10, illustrates one of the most common medical risks faced by patients — physicians leaving behind a medical instrument. In this patient's case, part of a medical device used to administer chemotherapy was left in the plaintiff's chest. One of our recent blog posts highlighted the list of top patient safety issues recently released by the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN), and "retained surgical items" was listed as the second most common patient safety issue. To see the full list, click on: Top 10 Patient Safety Issues: What More Can We Do?

I-Team report: N. Providence woman sues hospital over device left in body
medical mistake lawsuit

Lubin & Meyer PC
- Rhode Island's Leader in Medical Malpractice Law

4/30/2013

Delay in Diagnosis of Cancer — A Common Malpractice Problem

Despite many advances in detection technologies and cancer screening protocols, delays and misdiagnosis of cancer are far too common. The best defense against cancer is early detection. Patients are advised to be aware of the screening guidelines set by their physician or health plan, and also to educate themselves about cancer screening. See the American Cancer Society's Cancer Screening Guidelines.

Below is a sampling of the type of cancer cases that we have successfully settled this past year related to delays in the diagnosis of cancer:
Thyroid Cancer - $1.75 Million Settlement 
Repeated failures to test enlarged thyroid for cancer and allegedly spoilated primary care records leads to settlement 
Liver Cancer - $1 Million Settlement
Failure to monitor for liver cancer in Asian man with history of Hepatitis B 
Lung Cancer - $1 Million Settlement
Lawsuit claims woman's lung cancer detection was delayed by 1 year
Kidney Cancer - $1.5 Million Settlement
57-year-old man dies from delay in diagnosis of kidney cancer
To learn more about the cancer cases we have successfully resolved, please see our Verdicts and Settlements archive.

If you have a question about a possible delay in the diagnosis of cancer, please do not hesitate to contact us for a case evaluation at no cost.

Lubin & Meyer PC  | Cancer Malpractice Attorneys in MA, NH, RI

3/11/2013

2012's Top Verdicts and Settlements

Every January, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly publishes its "Year in Review" list of the largest verdicts and settlements of the previous year.

In 2012, Lubin & Meyer secured two of the top five verdicts and 24 settlements of one million dollars or more — four times as many as any other firm.

For a full list of Lubin & Meyer's verdicts and settlements for 2012 of $1 million or more, click here:

Lubin & Meyer PC - Rhode Island Medical Malpractice Lawyers

1/22/2013

Best Law Firms 2013: Lubin & Meyer Receives National Ranking for Medical Malpractice Law

Long recognized as one of the country’s leading medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury law firms, Lubin & Meyer was recently awarded a national tier one ranking by U.S. News - Best Lawyers "Best Law Firm Rankings 2013." The firm received the top national ranking in the area of Medical Malpractice Law. The national first tier rankings were published in a special Money issue released by U.S. News in November 2012.

The “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on a combination of client feedback, information provided on the Law Firm Survey, and Best Lawyers.® For more on the methodology, see Best Law Firms 2013 at Bestlawfirms.usnews.com/Methodology.aspx.

Located in Boston, MA, the firm's attorneys practice in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Lubin & Meyer PC - Rhode Island Medical Malpractice Attorneys

11/28/2012

Trial Report: ER Delay Leads to Death of Boy

As a follow up to last month's post on the Plymouth County jury that found an ER doctor liable in the death of a 12-year-old boy, we now have posted the trial lawyer's report in the Verdicts & Settlements section of our main website at lubinandmeyer.com. To read the summary of the 8-day trial, click on the link below. Lubin & Meyer Attorney Adam Satin represented the plaintiff in this case.

$3.58 Million Judgment for ER Delay - Trial Report

Lubin & Meyer regulary obtains more medical malpractice and personal injury verdicts and settlements than any other law firm in the region. To read case summaries of more trials and pre-trial settlements on our main website, please click on Verdicts & Settlements.

Lubin & Meyer PC - Rhode Island's Leader in Medical Malpractice Law

10/23/2012

$3.5 Million Verdict in Trial of ER Doc Found Liable in Death of 12-year-old Boy

Adam R. Satin, an attorney with Lubin & Meyer, a law firm licensed to practice in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, won a $3.5 million judgment in nearby Plymouth County against an emergency room doctor in the trial over the death of a 12-year-old boy.

On October 22, 2012, after an 8-day medical malpractice and wrongful death trial, the jury returned a verdict that will result in judgment being entered against former Good Samaritan Medical Center Emergency Room doctor, Carmine Williams, M.D., in the amount of $3,582,831.

The lawsuit involved the death of 12-year-old Alberto Fernandes, whose mother brought claims against the emergency room physician after her son was kept waiting in the ER for almost 3½ hours even though the hospital did not have the appropriate neurosurgical personnel available to treat his malfunctioning brain shunt.

Attorney Satin was successful in proving to the jury that the doctor was negligent when she failed to recognize the emergent nature of the patient’s condition, resulting in an undue delay in his transfer to an appropriate facility with neurosurgical capabilities. Said Satin, “Dr. Williams cost this child 45 critical minutes at the outset of his time in the Emergency Room and then went on with her other patients while Alberto languished there as his clinical condition and head pain got worse and worse over time — all because she failed to recognize how critical his condition was.”

Lubin & Meyer PC - Rhode Island's Leader in Medical Malpractice Law

7/31/2012

New England's Best Lawyers Lists Five from Lubin & Meyer

Five attorneys at Lubin & Meyer PC have been selected for inclusion in New England's Best Lawyers® 2012 Edition, a guide to New England's top lawyers, based solely on a vote of their peers. Selected in the areas of medical malpractice and personal injury litigation, they are: 
For more information and to read the cover article on the firm, please click on: New England's Best Lawyers...

New England's Best Lawyers is excerpted from the 2012 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®, the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. Best Lawyers is published by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, S.C.

Lubin & Meyer PC - Rhode Island's Leader in Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law

11/30/2011

Lubin & Meyer Represents Family in "Alarm Fatigue" Settlement

Attorney Andrew C. Meyer, Jr. represented the family of an 89-year-old cardiac patient who died at Mass. General Hospital in Boston when nurses failed to respond to cardiac monitor alarms. The case, as well as a series of investigative articles by The Boston Globe, has spurred national attention around the issue of "alarm fatigue." The settlement for $850,000.00 was made public this week.

What is alarm fatigue?

As reported in The Boston Globe on November 28, 2011:
"Although monitors can save lives when they alert nurses to dangerous changes in a patient’s condition, most alarms are false, triggered by  patients shifting in bed or minor changes. According to a Globe investigation published earlier this year, repeated false alarms can desensitize nurses, causing them to tune out alarms that turn out to be critical — a phenomenon called alarm fatigue linked to hundreds of patient deaths."
Andrew Meyer is quoted in the article:
“Much to Mass. General’s credit, they recognized the error and tried to do right by the family. They are in good faith trying to prevent the problem from occurring in the future. The family was appreciative.’’
Learn more about alarm fatigue in this series of reports from The Boston Globe. 

Added February 2012: While as of this writing there have been no deaths attributed to alarm fatigue in Rhode Island, awareness to the issue is high. See related news story covered by Providence's WPRI News 12:



Lubin & Meyer PC - Rhode Island's Leader in Medical Malpractice Law

9/14/2011

Largest Jury Award of 2011: $11.48 Million for Newborn's Death at Hospital

Lubin & Meyer attorneys William J. Thompson and Elizabeth Cranford have won a jury award of $11.48 million (including interest) on behalf of the family of an eight-day-old twin baby girl who died from a massive bowel infection while at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston. It is the largest jury verdict in the region for a medical malpractice wrongful death trial. Jurors found a doctor and nurse practitioner negligent in the care of the infant who died of necrotizing enterocolitis.

For more information on the details of this trial, see the full trial lawyers report at: Jury Finds Negligence, Awards $11.5 Million in Newborn's Death.

Lubin & Meyer PC - Rhode Island's Leader in Medical Malpractice Law