How Louis La Cava’s Closing Helped Clear Docs at Trial Over Woman’s Ectopic Pregnancy

By Arlin Crisco – CVN, Courtroom View Network

Defense attorneys in medical negligence cases must often overcome jurors’ natural tendency to engage in hindsight bias when they consider a doctor’s care. At trial over the communication and treatment surrounding a Florida woman’s ectopic pregnancy, Louis La Cava’s closing on staff expectations and an artful warning on hindsight bias helped clear the doctors that treated her.

Stacey Santangelo-Santana’s’s 2014 ectopic pregnancy — a nonviable pregnancy outside the uterus —  led to the loss of one of her fallopian tubes, and left her unable to naturally conceive. Santangelo-Santana sued Exodus Women’s Center and its two treating obstetricians — Drs. Dawn Ericsson and Stephen Wagner— as well as pathologist Dr. Robert Ruffalo, claiming that  delays in communicating pathology results led to the loss of her fallopian tube. Ruffalo, she contended, failed to properly contact Ericsson and Wagner regarding the pathology results, while the two obstetricians, she claimed, did not follow up to obtain the results. 

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