Case Study – Defective Chair Case
Plaintiff, a 48 year old man with a 20 year history of low-back pain sat on a restaurant chair for a business lunch. Immediately upon sitting, the back legs of the chair folded inward causing our client to fall backwards and land on his tail bone. The fellow diners immediately called the manager and attempted to assist the man to another chair. While at the scene, one of the fellow diners snapped several photographs with her cell phone camera of the broken chair and of the manager examining the bent legs of the chair. These photographs became essential evidence in the case.
The Plaintiff was taken by his friends to the hospital that night with complaints of back pain. He followed up with a physician within several days. The man then visited in attorney who sent him to several physicians that provided extensive therapy, testing, MRI, examinations and prescriptions which were extraordinarily expensive. The lawyer then referred the client to a surgeon who operated on his back at 4 different levels of his lumbar spine. These lamenectomy procedures resulted in our client sustaining new and additional injuries in the form of an infection and massive seroma. Fortunately, from this point forward, our client was transferred to a University hospital where he received excellent medical care that likely saved his life.
Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. inherited this case after the first lawyer attempted unsuccessfully to make a claim against the restaurant. The restaurant denied the claim since the Plaintiff had been in a doctor’s office a mere 4 days before the accident with identical injuries that he had been complaining of for 20 or more years. Our law firm filed a lawsuit against the restaurant and the chair manufacturer. Through discovery, Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. was able to obtain a chain of emails between the restaurant and chair manufacturer detailing very specific complaints about collapsing chairs. In fact, on the Sunday night before our client’s fall on Monday, the manufacturer had agreed to replace all of the defective chairs and told the restaurant to take them out of service. This evidence proved important to demonstrating the restaurant’s liability and knowledge of the chairs’ dangers. With the assistance of a metallurgist and animationist, our law firm put together a demonstrative re-enactment of the chair’s failure at the time of the accident. We were able to specifically focus in on the defective welds that plagued this entire line of chairs and were successful in proving a design defect in the chair.
Once we had established liability, we then needed to demonstrate that the new and additional injuries were created as a result of the medical malpractice of the Plaintiff’s treating physician. We discovered that the surgeon had actually been involved in multiple other medical malpractice suits for unnecessary surgery and had previously been arrested for prescription fraud. The subsequent treating doctors went on record as saying that the Plaintiff’s surgery was unnecessary and overly aggressive, which resulted in the Plaintiff suffering injuries that went well beyond those caused by the fall in the chair.
Case Study – PICC Line Injury
Our client, a 78 year old man was in a major teaching hospital for kidney transplant surgery. He had kidney cancer and needed to have this affected kidney removed. During the course of his hospital stay, prior the surgery, he became weak and undernourished. A decision was made by his physician to place him on total parental nutrition as a means of feeding him. The doctor ordered installation of a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC line). A PICC line is a large intravenous line that is typically placed in such large vessels as those located in the upper arm. This allows a higher volume of fluid than a typical IV line.
Typically, PICC lines are inserted by specially trained nurses. In the case of our client, the PICC line nurse had received very little training and had minimal experience in PICC line placement. She made multiple attempts to insert the PICC line in our client’s upper arm without success. During the course of the procedure, our client felt a stabbing pain in his arm and requested the nurse stop the procedure. The chart entry noted nothing about this event. Later in the patient’s chart, as his complaints of pain in the injured arm continued and worsened, the chart reflected that photographs of his bruised arm were taken. As his hospital stay progressed, his arm pain and numbness remained. Specialty consultations with a Neurologist and a Hand Surgeon were obtained. Throughout the chart, notes were made stating that this hand and arm problem was due to a PICC line placement.
Our client was discharged with hand pain. Although the kidney surgery was a success, now he could not use his dominant hand. He continued to follow up with his family doctor who sent him to a Neurologist. EMG and Nerve Conduction Testing (Electrodiagnostic Testing) revealed that he had a nerve injury which did not allow the transmission of normal nerve impulses.
After a year of suffering with this ongoing hand pain, numbness and inability to use the arm and hand, Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. was contacted for representation.
We commenced an investigation into this event and learned that the PICC line nurse involved in our client’s incident had left the hospital and was nowhere to be found. Further discovery by the law firm located her in the Northern part of the State practicing at a different hospital. The Defendant hospital refused to turn over photographs of our client’s injury and continually delayed the case by filing a barrage of objections and frivolous motions in order to avoid facing a jury. A “war of discovery” ensued and the Defendant hospital finally realized that they could no longer hide behind objections and delay. The case was noticed for trial using a Florida Statute designed to advance cases on the trial docket when a person is greater than 65 years of age. Once a trial date was given and Defendants realized they were left with few options, they approached the Plaintiff with substantial settlement offers until the case ultimately resolved. The firm had retained a nationally recognized PICC line nurse that provided invaluable information and education to the law firm regarding the dangers and risks associated with PICC line placement. Following the conclusion of this case and after extensive research, the firm has assumed representation in several other PICC line injury matters.
Automobile Accident Cases
Tractor-trailer driver disregarded a red light, negligently entered a Miami-Dade County intersection and collided with our client’s vehicle. Our client sustained a meniscus tear and had to undergo arthroscopic knee surgery, but was left with permanent residual limitations. The case was tried and resulted in a substantial award of damages.
Teenage driver made a left-hand turn in front of client’s car, resulting in a high-speed impact and the total loss of both vehicles. Our client suffered an injury to his head rendering him unconscious. Subsequently, this young man developed an intracranial bleed that resulted in permanent mild cognitive disability. The case was tried and resulted in a damages award in his favor.
Driver on a cell phone failed to pay attention to our client’s vehicle that was stopped ahead at a red light. Our client suffered significant wrist fracture with ligament injuries that required surgery. After brief litigation, the case settled for the defendant’s insurance policy limits.
Our client, a married father of three children, was driving his motorcycle, when he was struck by a grossly underinsured physician who made an improper turn with her automobile. Our client’s leg was severely fractured; he was required to undergo extensive leg surgery; and he was forced to miss a great deal of time from his job with a bank as a result. The case proceeded to trial resulting in a verdict that vastly exceeded the insurance coverage held by the physician. There is now a second case pending against the physician’s insurance company for acting in bad faith.
A client on a motorcycle suffered horrific leg injuries when struck by a jeep that was exiting a shopping center. After nearly 30 years working as a county employee, our client was forced to undergo multiple surgeries and lengthy hospitalizations, placing his career and pension in jeopardy. While the jeep driver had insurance, it was insufficient to cover the significant losses sustained by our client. Jeffrey R. Davis P.A. investigated the shopping center and determined that a stop sign at the exit where the accident occurred had fallen down several years earlier and was never replaced. The shopping center was joined in the lawsuit and a settlement was achieved with all of the defendants that enabled our client to retire and resume his life.
While visiting a neighbor, our client was savagely bitten by a German Sheppard that was permitted to run freely in the neighborhood. After an extensive investigation and search, Jeffrey R. Davis P.A. was able to locate the dog’s owner who had no insurance. Jeffrey R. Davis P.A. made a claim on the client’s behalf against both the dog owner and the owner of the home where the dog was kept. The law firm found neighbors who provided testimony that the homeowner knew the dog was aggressive and would frequently escape from the property to run unrestrained through the neighborhood. The case was resolved in our client’s favor for the full value of her injuries.
After working several years in an office building as an accountant, our client found that he and his coworkers were constantly getting ill and experiencing headaches. The client complained to the landlord about a musty smell and poor ventilation. After being getting no response from the landlord, the client hired Jeffrey R. Davis P.A. The law firm utilized indoor engineers to test the office building and determined that toxic mold was growing in the air conditioning units and behind the walls. After several years of litigation, the insurance company for the building agreed to remediate and compensate the injured worker.
Medical Malpractice Cases
Within weeks of his birth, our young client began exhibiting a fever and other symptoms. The pediatrician and hospital continued to refer the child back and forth without making the necessary and timely diagnosis of Kawasaki disease. The child suffered the unnecessary results of this harmful disease which could have been treated if it had been timely recognized. The case settled at mediation for a confidential sum that will provide for the child for the rest of his life.
After losing an enormous amount of weight following stomach stapling surgery, our young female client now needed body contour surgery in order to remove excess skin. The plastic surgeon removed an unreasonable amount of tissue from her upper arm, resulting in loss of blood flow and grotesque deformity. Although this young woman regained the full use of her arm, she was left with significant deformity. At trial, the jury recognized the impact of this injury and awarded her a substantial recovery.
Pharmaceutical Malpractice/Wrong Medication Cases
Wrong Dosage Case. A doctor prescribed a 1 mg pill 3 times a day, but the pharmacy dispensed a 20 mg pill which resulted in clinical overdose. A confidential settlement was reached at mediation.
Wrong Medication Case. The patient’s prescription was for Prilosec but the pharmacy dispensed Prozac instead. The case settled before a lawsuit was filed.
At a large appliance store, the boxes from large televisions and appliances were wider than the opening to the trash compactor. The manager’s solution was to remove the guard cover at the opening of the trash compactor. While loading the evening trash, our client fell into the trash compactor and sustained severe and debilitating injuries. Jeffrey R. Davis P.A. was retained and brought litigation against the trash hauling company, and was successful in proving the company had knowledge of the dangerous removal of the safety guard, but continued to allow the compactor to operate. The case concluded with a successful recovery for the injured worker.
After a troubled and rocky relationship, our eighteen year old client received a telephone call from his girlfriend late at night to come over immediately. The girl’s father, who was against the relationship from the start, had set a trap for the boy by ordering the bouncer from his nightclub to wait at the girl’s house. The bouncer, a convicted felon, shot and killed the eighteen year old boy as he rang the doorbell. A claim was filed against all involved parties, resulting in a confidential settlement.
These are a few cases that Jeffrey R. Davis P.A. is currently handling:
- A hotel housekeeper was brutally assaulted by a patron who had been refused entrance to the hotel, but not ejected from the property.
- A young girl found herself trapped on a defective amusement ride at a Florida theme park. At the start of the ride, her leg was badly fractured and she was forced to suffer the duration of the rollercoaster ride, which further twisted and pulled her badly broken leg.
- A young boy was playing football with friends was tackled and suffered a hip dislocation. The hospital failed to recognize the injury and sent the boy home. He has permanent leg injuries and will limp for the remainder of his life.
- A widow traveled from Germany for a special vacation with her boyfriend. Due to a careless driver, she died in a tragic car crash. Consequently, an action with international legal implications has been commenced.
- The defective safety switch in a road construction machine caused a severe arm fracture to the operator.