Medical Malpractice - Hospital Malpractice - Brain Injury
Jason Rubin obtained a $1 million settlement in a medical malpractice action arising of a traumatic brain injury suffered as a result of a fall shortly after plaintiff was discharged from a hospital.
Plaintiff, a 57 year old man, was taken to defendant hospital by ambulance because of complaints of dizziness, near syncope and inability to get out of bed. He had a complicated past medical history which was significant for lung cancer with brain metastases several years earlier for which he required a craniotomy, brain resection and whole brain radiation. This treatment left him with several deficits including visual seizures, loss of peripheral vision and an unsteady gait for which he required a cane. He was admitted to defendant hospital and underwent a workup which included a brain MRI, neurology consult and physiatry consult. Ultimately, a decision was made that plaintiff was going to be discharged and would return to the hospital within one week to undergo an outpatient video EEG.
Plaintiff was discharged by the defendant nurse, who allowed plaintiff to walk out of the hospital with his wife and his cane. No wheelchair or transporter was provided or offered. After exiting the hospital and as he approached the vehicle that was going to take him home, he fell backwards and struck the back of his head on the sidewalk. He was taken back into the emergency room, where he was diagnosed with intracranial bleeding and subdural hematomas. He underwent a craniotomy with evacuation of the bleeding and thereafter remained hospitalized for almost five months to undergo extensive physical, occupational and speech therapy. Plaintiff died approximately six years after the alleged malpractice of causes unrelated to his brain injury.
Prior to trial, the case settled with plaintiff’s attending internist for $300,000.00. Thereafter, the case proceeded to trial against the defendant nurse and hospital. At trial, Jason claimed that the nurse was negligent in failing to provide plaintiff a wheelchair and transporter upon discharge, particularly in light of the significant fall risk factors he exhibited. Prior to verdict, the case settled against the hospital for $700,000.00.
This settlement is significant in light of the significant deficits that plaintiff had even prior to the alleged malpractice. Additionally, there was no claim for loss of earnings, future pain and suffering or wrongful death.