Defense Verdict

Lou La Cava and Janett Durkee Obtain A Defense Verdict In A Wrongful Death Case

Janet DurkeeLouis J. La CavaLou La Cava and Janet Durkee obtained a defense verdict for a hospitalist in a wrongful death case in Hillsborough County. The Plaintiff was a 62 year old female who fell down a flight of stairs and broke 5 ribs. She was intoxicated. She was evaluated in the emergency room and admitted to the hospital for observation. She was evaluated by the hospitalist in the morning and appeared stable. During the day she complained of pain, nausea and in the evening anxiety. Her blood pressure started getting lower. In the early morning hours she was found non responsive and she was unable to be resuscitated. On autopsy she was found to have additional rib fractures, a lacerated intercostal vessel and 2,000 ccs of blood in her right pleural space. Plaintiff alleged the hospitalist was negligent by not consulting a surgeon, failing to perform coagulation studies, failing to perform serial x-rays, failing to order a chest CT and failing to see the patient again during the day based on her complaints of pain, nausea and anxiety. After a 8 day trial the jury returned a verdict finding that the hospitalist defendant was not negligent and did not cause the decedent’s death.