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Medical Malpractice


 

This page represents only a partial listing of some of the wonderful results achieved by our firm for our clients. For additional information please contact us.

Failure to Diagnose and Treat Internal Bleeding Postoperatively – Wrongful Death $7,000,000.00

A $7,000,000.00 verdict was achieved by John Bonina after a 4 week trial in Kings County, New York.

Plaintiff’s decedent, 52, a livery service’s dispatcher, presented to defendant internist reporting that he was suffering fatigue and weakness, and the doctor observed severe jaundice. Decedent was admitted to Interfaith Medical Center, in Brooklyn where testing revealed high bilirubin and subsequent tests suggested an obstruction of a hepatic duct.

Decedent underwent an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography which did not reveal the cause of decedent’s symptoms, and caused a hemorrhage that necessitated clipping and cauterization of an artery.

Six days later decedent underwent a percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography (ERCP), but this test did not permit full visualization of the hepatic duct. The test was repeated during two of the ensuing four days, but the results were inconclusive.

Eleven days later defendant surgeon performed an exploratory laparotomy. He determined that decedent’s hepatic ducts were not obstructed.

Two days postoperatively a doctor noted that decedent was exhibiting a decreased output of urine. Tests revealed a severe decrease of his blood’s hematocrit and hemoglobin. Defendant internist suspected internal bleeding, and he ordered transfusions. Defendant surgeon was consulted, but he did not believe that bleeding was occurring.

Decedent’s condition deteriorated. He suffered shock, failure of his kidneys and severe impairment of his respiration and ultimately died in the hospital. His widow claimed that her husband’s death was a result of unaddressed bleeding that was caused by the procedure that defendant surgeon performed.

The estate alleged that the defendant doctors failed to properly diagnose and/or treat decedent’s condition, that the failures constituted malpractice, and that Interfaith Medical Center was vicariously liable for the actions of defendant internist, surgeon and radiologist.

The estate’s counsel claimed that defendants were distracted by the incorrect belief that decedent was suffering an obstruction of a hepatic duct. He contended that decedent’s initial symptoms were a product of benign recurrent intrahepatic cholestasis, which is a rare condition that inhibits the liver’s release of bile.

The hospital’s counsel contended that bleeding is an accepted risk of an ERCP, and he claimed that defendant surgeon and internist promptly and effectively resolved any bleeding that occurred during the procedure. The hospital’s expert pathologist opined decedent’s death was the result of sepsis, and noted there was no bleeding noted on sonogram the day before decedent’s death.

The estate’s counsel also claimed that defendant surgeon should have detected and addressed decedent’s bleeding. The estate’s expert surgeon opined that exploratory surgery should have been performed when decreasing hematocrit and hemoglobin were noted two days postoperatively, and he contended that prompt reparations would have saved decedent’s life.

The estate’s expert pathologist noted that decedent lost 700 cubic centimeters of blood, but the hospital’s expert pathologist opined that such an amount could not produce a fatal result. The hospital’s pathologist opined that decedent’s death was an unpreventable result of sepsis.

Decedent, 52, was survived by a wife and three teenaged children. Decedent’s estate sought recovery of wrongful death damages that included decedent’s lost earnings, damages for decedent’s pain and suffering, and damages for his children’s loss of parental guidance.

The jury found that defendant gastroenterologist and defendant surgeon departed from accepted standards of medical care. Interfaith Medical Center was thusly deemed vicariously liable. The jury determined that the estate’s damages totaled $7 million.

Diagnosis of Perforated Bile Duct After ERCP - Intestinal Necrosis Ileostomy - $12 MILLION

A $12,000,000.00 verdict was returned by the jury in Supreme Court, Kings
County following a four-week trial.

Plaintiff was a 35-year-old man when he developed a blockage of the common bile duct. The blockage, which formed in his gallbladder, became loose and caused jaundice. He was referred to defendant gastroenterologist, who diagnosed gallstones and an obstruction of the common bile duct. Defendant gastroenterologist arranged for plaintiff's admission to Defendant Medical Center under the care of the defendant surgical group.

Surgery was scheduled for 6/13, but plaintiff refused to sign the consent form Plaintiff testified that if he had been informed of the necessity of the surgery, he would have given his consent. The surgery was then cancelled, and defendant gastroenterologist contacted defendant endoscopic surgeon, and arranged for him to perform an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography procedure (ERCP) and remove by endoscope any stones that he found.

John Anthony Bonina proved that defendant endoscopic surgeon caused a perforation of the common bile duct during the ERCP and failed to recognize it. Defendant endoscopic surgeon's failure to recognize the perforation was a substantial factor in causing plaintiff to suffer from pancreatitis and a phlegmon, and thereafter an abscessed infection. The abscess caused an accumulation of pus, infected tissue, and bile juices, which caused a massive infection and necrosis of the various parts of his digestive tract. The plaintiff was then transferred to another hospital, where the abscess was drained and an ileostomy, gallbladder removal, and common bile duct exploration were performed, and a T-tube was inserted by bypass the perforation.

As a result of 90% of his pancreas being destroyed, plaintiff has developed diabetes, which has led to deterioration of his eyesight, cardiac condition, and impotence. Since his initial hospitalization at Maimonides Medical Center, he was hospitalized 22 separate times for complications or conditions resulting from the perforation during the ERCP and defendant endoscopic surgeon's failure to recognize it.

Hospital Negligence - Cervical Laminectomy - Patient Allowed Out of Bed
Without Cervical Collar - Quadriparesis - $6 MILLION


This $6,021,474 verdict was awarded in Supreme Court, Kings County.

Plaintiff entered defendant hospital for a tri-level cervical laminectomy to remove scar tissue that had formed near his spinal cord in the cervical region.

Following successful surgery there were written orders by the neurosurgeon for the use of a cervical collar, however the nurses at defendant hospital permitted plaintiff to be out of bed without it for an extended period of time. At that time, plaintiff was tired and weak, and asked the nurses to put him back in bed, but they failed to do so. His blood pressure was declining and a nurse observed that he was diaphoretic (cold and perspired).plaintiff fainted, causing his head to suddenly fall forward, causing a flexion injury to his spinal cord.

The jury found that the hospital was negligent for failing to follow the doctor's orders for the use of a cervical collar and for failing to put him back to bed at a time he was weak and diaphoretic, and that the combination of a spinal cord stroke resulting from declining blood pressure and the flexion injury led to quadriparesis.

Failure to Timely Diagnose Spinal Cord Tumor - Paraparesis,
Urinary and Bowl Injuries, Sexual Dysfunction
- $4.6 MILLION

The jury, after 2-1/2 days of deliberation, rendered this $4,575,000 verdict in Supreme Court, New York County.

Over six year's plaintiff presented to his primary care physician presented for an annual physical examination and medical advice. During that time he complained knee "jumped" occasionally at night and gave way. He also complained of occasional numbness and constipation. He told defendant that his complaints had progressed to knee wobbliness and medial thigh paresthesia with occasional jumping of the knees and trembling of his legs after exercise.

The jury found that the physician failed to diagnose and treat an ependymoma, a tumor located deep within the center of his spinal cord. Bonina and Bonina, P.C. successfully argued that the defendant should have either referred Plaintiff to a neurologist or conducted a more thorough neurological exam himself, and that either course would have led to an MRI study and would have disclosed the presence of the tumor at an earlier time. The plaintiff suffers from paraparesis, urinary and bowel difficulties and sexual dysfunction. He requires a catheter to remove residual urine approximately twice a day. He now walks with crutches and occasionally uses a wheelchair.

Failure to Monitor Patient While Under Anesthesia During Hand Surgery -
Wrongful Death of 20 Year Old Carpenter - $3 MILLION


A Supreme Court, Richmond County jury returned a $3,011,704 verdict in favor of the plaintiffs, parents of a twenty year old carpenter who died during surgery.  The jury found that the anesthesiologist had failed to set the cardiovascular alarm system, failed to intubate the decedent upon the administration of the general anesthesia, and had failed to recognize that the decedent was cyanotic.

The jury determined that the surgeon was also negligent for failing to check on the decedent's status when the nurse indicated that his arm had turned blue, that he failed to adequately check the tourniquet controls, and that he failed to assist in cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Eye Surgery - Infection Results in Loss of Eye - $1.77 MILLION

This $1,765,000 verdict was reached in Supreme Court, Kings County.

Plaintiff, a 54 year old housewife, had cataract surgery performed at Defendant Hospital by Defendant Doctor. He performed surgery on one eye, intending to operate on the other eye after the first eye healed. During the 24 hour period following surgery, Plaintiff complained of severe eye pain in the eye which had undergone surgery. When Defendant Doctor returned the following morning, he found the eye severely infected.

He attempted to treat the condition by performing a paracentesis (a puncture of the wall of the eyeball) and iridectomy to drain the infection and relieve pressure. Those measures proved ineffective, causing Plaintiff to undergo an enucleation of the eye (removal of the eye) and insertion of a prosthesis 6 months later.

As a result, she was psychologically unable to undergo the cataract surgery in her other eye; therefore, she will eventually become completely blind. John Anthony Bonina proved that Defendant was negligent in failing to measure intraocular pressure before attempting to excise the cataract. Had he done so, Mr. Bonina argued, he would have noted the abnormally high pressure, which would have led to the discovery of its cause -- the blockage of the flow of intraocular fluid by the infection. John Anthony Bonina also successfully proved that the hospital was negligent in that its nursing staff overmedicated Plaintiff with Percodan, which masked the severity of her symptoms.

Improper Tubal Ligation Leads to Subsequent Pregnancy
- $1.35 MILLION

This unanimous $1,350,000.00 verdict was rendered in Supreme Court, Kings
County.

Plaintiff, a 33 year old housewife, underwent a tubal ligation at the time her fourth child was delivered by Cesarean section at Woodhull Hospital. She subsequently became pregnant, and had another Cesarean section and another tubal ligation. John Bonina, Jr. Successfully proved that defendants improperly used the Pomeroy method of tubal ligation, which only removed the fimbriated end, and not the "knuckle" of her left fallopian tube.

Failure to Diagnose Appendicitis - Ruptured Appendix and Three Surgeries - $1.25 MILLION

This $1,250,000.00 verdict was returned on in Supreme Court, Richmond
County.

Plaintiff presented to the defendant doctor with complaints of abdominal pain and diarrhea. Defendant performed an abdominal examination and urinalysis, and prescribed Donnatol for a diagnosis of gastritis. The next day plaintiff, who had been out of town, returned home to Staten Island and went to Staten Island University Hospital, where a ruptured appendix with peritonitis was diagnosed, and surgery was performed. Plaintiff was admitted to Staten Island University Hospital for 10 days, due to the serious infection and peritonitis from which he was suffering. During this admission, his abdominal wound remained open until a second surgical procedure was performed to close it. Thereafter he developed a large incisional hernia which required a third operative procedure during a second admission.

John Bonina successfully argued that plaintiff was, in fact suffering from appendicitis when he saw the defendant doctor, and that the failure to do an adequate abdominal examination and the failure to refer him to a local hospital for blood studies and an abdominal x-ray constituted departures from accepted medical practice. He argued, and the jury accepted, that plaintiff was suffering from appendicitis at the time of the visit, but that it had not yet ruptured until that evening. Thus, proper treatment by the defendant would have resulted in removing the appendix before it ruptured and peritonitis had set in.

Erroneous Advice About Amniocentesis - Pecuniary Damages for Raising a Child with Down's Syndrome - $800,000

The $800,000 verdict was returned in Supreme Court, Kings.

Plaintiff became pregnant at the age of 38 and came under the care of the defendant OB/GYN. When a sonogram was performed to determine the health of the fetus, it was inconclusive. The defendant discussed the possibly of amniocentesis with her, but she declined to undergo the test.

Plaintiff's son was born with Down's Syndrome and is severely mentally retarded. Plaintiffs proved that the defendant exaggerated the dangers of amniocentesis, particularly that danger that it could cause blindness by striking the fetus' eyes. If plaintiff had been properly informed, she would have undergone the test, discovered the Down's Syndrome and chosen to have an abortion.

Negligent Administration of Ampicillin -- Plaintiff Suffers Allergic
Reaction -- Development of Thrombocytopenia -- Post-Traumatic Stress
Disorder $623,500

The unanimous $623,500 verdict was returned in Supreme Court, Kings County.

Plaintiff, a 36 year old plumber, underwent a vasectomy. After the procedure, plaintiff developed swelling of the right testicle, bleeding, pus and a fever. He went to Defendant's office and was prescribed ampicillin, even though he told Defendant on his first office visit 1 month before the surgery that he was allergic to penicillin. He again told Defendant of his penicillin allergy & asked if ampicillin was the same as penicillin. Defendant told him that it was not the same.

The plaintiff started taking the medication the next day and on the following day he woke with a rash all over his body and lesions on his tongue. Plaintiff's wife called Defendant, who told her it was probably an allergic reaction to soap, and to continue with the medicine. However, when plaintiff sought a second opinion, he was told to discontinue the medication. As a result of the reaction and the lesions on his body & tongue he was hospitalized for 3 weeks with a diagnosis of acute thrombocytopenia secondary to a drug reaction from the ampicillin. The thrombocytopenia caused an extremely low platelet count. Despite steroid therapy with prednisone and IV gamma globulins to increase his platelet count his platelet count did not rise and he necessitated a splenectomy.

John Bonina, Jr. successfully argued that because of the splenectomy, plaintiff has a permanently diminished response mechanism to bacterial infections, as well as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder which adversely affected his marriage.John Bonina, Jr. also successfully overcame the defense claim that there had never been a reported case in medical history of a patient who developed chronic thrombocytopenia and required a splenectomy as a result of an adverse reaction to ampicillin.

Negligently Performed Hysterectomy - Multiple Procedures Necessary to
Correct Urinary Incontinence
- $517,000

This $517,000.00 verdict was in Supreme Court, Kings County.

Plaintiff underwent a hysterectomy performed by defendant doctor. John Bonina, Jr. successfully proved that, during the operation, defendant injured plaintiff's left ureter (the conduit for urine between the kidney and bladder), and that the defendant's failure to protect the ureter by placing a stent in it prior to the surgery, and the failure to detect the damage to the ureter during the operation, was malpractice.

As a result, plaintiff leaked urine vaginally for a week after the surgery, until the damage to the ureter was finally detected. Several procedures were necessary, including placement of stents and tubes, to permit the ureter to heal properly. Although the ureter had healed properly by the time of trial, plaintiff still suffered from left-sided pain caused by the scar tissue which developed due to the placement of the stents and drains.

Failure to Diagnose Ovarian Cyst - Rupture of Cyst - Removal of Left
Fallopian Tube and Ovary
- $400,000

This unanimous $400,000.00 verdict was returned in Supreme Court, Richmond
County.

Verdict breakdown: $300,000.00 for plaintiff's past pain and suffering, and $100,000.00 for plaintiff's future pain and suffering. Facts: Plaintiff, a 16 year old high school senior, presented to Defendant 1 on January 24 and March 7, 1991, with complaints of lower abdominal pain greater on the left side. Vaginal examination was negative, and Defendant 1 administered Demerol injections to relieve plaintiff's pain. On the March 7, 1991 visit, Defendant 1 referred plaintiff to Defendant 2, a surgeon who did a series of tests, after which he advised Ms. Corn to avoid red meat and take Metamucil. Both Defendant 1 and Defendant 2 diagnosed plaintiff as having gastroenteritis.

On October 8, 1991 plaintiff was diagnosed with a left ovarian cyst, which by then had ruptured, and surgery was performed to remove the left Fallopian tube and ovary. The jury found that Defendant 1 was negligent in administering Demerol injections without ever coming to a diagnosis as to what was causing plaintiff's pain. Additionally, plaintiffs proved that both Defendant 1 and Defendant 2 committed medical malpractice in their failure to order a pelvic sonogram and their failure to refer plaintiff to a gynecologist for an evaluation of her condition. Plaintiffs also proved that the presence of the left ovarian cyst had been causing plaintiff's complaints in early 1991, and that if had been detected in a timely fashion, a simple surgery called a laparoscopy could have been performed, and plaintiff's fallopian tube and ovary would have been saved.

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*Any results set forth here were dependant on the facts of that particular case and results will differ from case to case. No guarantee, warranty or prediction is being made regarding any particular case or injury. Prior results do not guarantee future outcomes.

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