12 April, 2024

Nevada Medical Malpractice Claims Thrown Out, An Eye for Detail in Procedure Wins for Radiologist

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In: Verdicts

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Las Vegas-Hub Managing Partner, Adam Garth's unwavering determination secured a victory by exploiting the plaintiffs' procedural error of pursuing a lawsuit on behalf of a non-existent estate, leading to the dismissal of a significant portion of the case.

Overview of the Case

  • QPWB represented a radiologist accused of failing to identify a subdural hematoma, allegedly leading to the patient's death. The patient's widow filed a medical malpractice suit, but no estate was established for the deceased, nor were other potential heirs included or waivers obtained for their participation in the lawsuit.
  • Defense moved to dismiss the estate's case due to the lack of its establishment before litigation began and sought dismissal of the wife's claims for failure to include the decedent's adult children as necessary parties.
  • The court dismissed the estate's case and is reviewing whether the remaining claims will also be dismissed.

Claims Made Against Our Client

  • The plaintiffs alleged that an estate was pursuing wrongful death claims. However, QPWB discovered that no estate was established, which is required to prosecute such litigation on behalf of a decedent.
  • The plaintiffs failed to provide evidence supporting the estate's claims or explain why an estate was never established.
  • Furthermore, they asserted that the decedent's surviving wife was entitled to wrongful death compensation, but neglected to name the decedent's other heirs or obtain waivers from them and the court is seeking further briefing to decide whether the wife's case can proceed without the adult children's claims.

Defensive Strategy

  • QPWB promptly noted the plaintiffs' failure to establish an estate representative before initiating litigation. They demonstrated that the decedent's heirs were identifiable, and the prosecuting heir had a duty to involve the other heirs or obtain waivers to prevent inconsistent litigation.
  • We moved to dismiss the estate's claims based on misrepresentation and argued against allowing the amendment of the complaint after estate establishment, citing the plaintiffs' failure to prove an honest error.
  • The court dismissed the estate's claims entirely due to the absence of a proper estate representative. Additionally, the court highlighted the remaining heirs' wrongful death claims and their necessity as parties, requiring additional briefing before the final case determination.

Impact on Final Outcome

  • Our vigilance in identifying procedural errors resulted in the dismissal of claims improperly interposed on behalf of the absent estate.
  • By ensuring compliance with rules and statutes, we aim to limit our client's liability and avoid inconsistent or duplicate litigation outcomes.

Predicting the Future

  • Our relentless pursuit of all defense strategies for our clients demonstrates our commitment to early identification of issues which can save our clients time, money and effort.
  • We insist on holding our adversaries accountable for their errors and will zealously pursue any and all legal and ethical angles to achieve a favorable result for the client without dragging out litigation.

About QPWB

Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A., is the largest minority and women-owned law firm in the nation with jurisdiction in 45 states and territories in the U.S. allowing us to serve a broad spectrum of industries with over 100 areas of practice. Our lawyers provide representation for businesses and their leaders in litigation, regulatory, and corporate matters.

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