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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 6, 2011

 

Contact:  Eric W. Boyer, Esq.
Managing Partner
305-670-1101 Ext. 123
Email:  eboyer@qpwblaw.com

 


QPWB TRIAL ATTORNEYS OBTAIN DEFENSE VERDICT IN MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CLAIM

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Scott C. Sankey

Medical Malpractice - Successful Defense of Cardiothoracic Surgeon and Physician’s Assistant

NAPLES, Fla. — Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A. (QPWB) trial attorneys Robert J. Cousins, Managing Partner of the Ft. Myers office and Scott C. Sankey, an attorney in the Ft. Lauderdale office, obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a cardiothoracic surgeon and his physician’s assistant during a three week-long jury trial marked by emotional testimony.  The case involved a patient, a well-known Naples Civic Activist and Environmentalist that underwent open heart surgery and a double valve replacement.  On the fifth post operative day the patient demonstrated a drop in blood pressure, hemoglobin, and some other non-specific laboratory values.  The plaintiff claimed these changes should have alerted the doctor and the physician’s assistant that the patient could be experiencing a post operative bleed.  The defense contended that these changes demonstrated expected post operative values.

Later that Saturday evening, when the hospital nurses attempted to have the patient stand out of bed to obtain her weight, she fell back into bed unconscious.  The nurse called a code blue which was immediately cancelled.  The nurses reported this information to the physician’s assistant who then advised the surgeon.  Both the nurse and the physician’s assistant interpreted this information as a syncopal episode and nothing alarming.  The surgeon, who was at dinner, had advised that he would see the patient the next morning.

At 10:45 that evening, the patient had a sudden cardiac arrest.  The surgeon immediately responded to the hospital where he took over resuscitation efforts and eventually restored the heart beat.  However, the patient suffered significant hypoxia and brain damage, and passed away.  The plaintiff contended this episode was the result of a post surgical bleed which led to cardiac tamponade.   The defense team successfully presented evidence to show the fatal event was an unusual, undetectable, and incurable coronary artery dissection.

A claim was brought by the surviving husband, who is also a well-known Collier County resident who also plays the role of Santa Claus for programs in the city of Immokalee and Collier County.  The jury heard extensive testimony about the activities of the surviving spouse and his deceased wife who would assist him by acting as Mrs. Claus during these events benefiting the poor and less fortunate children of Collier County.  The emotional testimony brought tears to the jury on several occasions.

The jury returned a defense verdict after less than three hours of deliberations.

About QPWB

Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A. is a full-service business law firm with more than 125 attorneys collaborating across major practice areas in eight offices located throughout Florida including Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Ft. Myers, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, and Tallahassee; and two offices in Kentucky located in Louisville and Lexington. QPWB provides comprehensive legal services to individuals and organizations of all sizes throughout the U.S. and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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