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    $28 Million Dollar Verdict

    An Allegheny County jury awarded of the largest civil verdicts in the history of Allegheny County to three families from Elizabeth, PA, who suffered death or injuries in a September 2009 crash which occurred in the Lincoln Place section of Pittsburgh. The accident happened when a young man had been drinking all day at a Gun Bash held at the Elks club on Buttermilk Hollow Road crashed within minutes after leaving the club. Read the full case details here.

    Significant multimillion-dollar recovery

    A young husband and wife suffered serious burns when a propane tank being carried in the back of their car suddenly ignited and caused a fire inside while they were driving. The propane tank had been filled just minutes earlier at a convenience store. We filed a claim against the convenience store and were able to prove that the fire occurred because the propane tank had been overfilled. We obtained a significant multimillion-dollar recovery on their behalf.

    Large Multi-Million Dollar Recovery for Pedestrian Death Caused by Failure to Have Traffic Control Device

    A young scientist from Pittsburgh was killed as she crossed the street with the right-of-way at a dangerous intersection near Frick Park. The intersection had been the scene of many prior accidents of which the City of Pittsburgh was aware. A large multi-million dollar jury verdict was obtained against the City for failure to have proper traffic control devices at the intersection. Attorney Gismondi and the family of the deceased woman donated part of the award to pay for a pedestrian safety flasher to be installed at the intersection so that it would be safer for the children and adults who used the nearby playground.

    Significant Multi-million Dollar Settlement

    An 18-year-old girl from Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, was driving with some girlfriends to Ohio to purchase a dress for her senior prom. Tragically a carelessly driven car crossed the center line, crashing into the girls’ vehicle. Lila suffered devastating head injury and brain swelling and died three days later. We obtained a significant, multimillion-dollar recovery for her parents

    Multimillion-dollar award

    A five-month-old baby was undergoing liver surgery at a hospital for children in Pittsburgh when a “grounding pad” was placed on the baby’s thigh to be used in conjunction with an electric scalpel. However, the nurses placed the grounding pad incorrectly and did not observe it properly during the surgery. As a result, the baby suffered a third-degree burn on her thigh and three days later had her leg amputated at the hip. A medical malpractice claim was filed against the hospital and a products liability claim was filed against the company that manufactured the grounding pad because they knew that the pad had caused burns in the past and did not adequately warn people how to safely use it. We obtained a multimillion-dollar award for this child.

    Multimillion-dollar award

    A woman from Pittsburgh who had a previous C-section and was now pregnant for a second time was planning on a vaginal birth after cesarean(VBAC) at a Pittsburgh hospital. Women who have a history of cesarean are at greater risk for a uterine rupture during a vaginal delivery since there is an incision on the wall of the uterus from the previous cesarean. Therefore, obstetricians need to be “on the lookout” for any sudden problems during labor since it might signal a ruptured uterus. Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened to this mother during labor. There was a sudden drop in the baby’s heart rate, which was not discovered by the doctor. As a result, the baby was deprived of oxygen for too long a period of time and suffered severe brain damage. It turned out there was indeed a ruptured uterus. We filed a claim against the obstetrician and the hospital claiming that they should have discovered the sudden change in the baby’s condition and immediately delivered the child via C-section to avoid brain injury. We obtained a multimillion-dollar award on behalf of this child, and the money was safeguarded to take care of all of his future needs. Although the child is quadriplegic and wheelchair-bound, his thinking abilities are intact.

    Multi-million Dollar Recovery

    A woman from Pittsburgh who had a previous C-section and was now pregnant for a second time was planning on a vaginal delivery. Women who have a history of cesarean are at greater risk for a uterine rupture during a vaginal delivery since there is an incision on the wall of the uterus from the previous cesarean. Therefore, obstetricians need to be “on the lookout” for any sudden problems during labor since it might signal a ruptured uterus. Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened to this mother during labor. There was a sudden drop in the baby’s heart rate, which was not discovered by the doctor. As a result, the baby was deprived of oxygen for too long a period of time and suffered severe brain damage. It turned out there was indeed a ruptured uterus. We filed a claim against the obstetrician and the hospital claiming that they should have discovered the sudden change in the baby’s condition and immediately delivered the child via C-section to avoid brain injury. We obtained a multi-million dollar award on behalf of this child, and the money was safeguarded to take care of all of his future needs. Although the child is quadriplegic and wheelchair-bound, his thinking abilities are intact.

    Multimillion-dollar recovery

    A three-year-old girl from Mt. Pleasant, Westmoreland County, developed E. coli and a resulting brain stem stroke as a result of eating contaminated ground beef at a national fast food chain. After extensive research and with the assistance of many national experts, we were able to prove the child contracted the E. coli from the fast food restaurant. A multimillion-dollar recovery was obtained on behalf of this child who was quadriplegic and wheelchair-bound. All of the money was safeguarded for her future needs.

    Multimillion-dollar settlement

    A young boy from Moon Township, Allegheny County suffered serious burns to his hands, arms and face due to a gas explosion and fire at his house. The explosion was caused by a gas leak from a line that was hit by a contractor. The gas company came out in response to the leak, was aware that the boy was in the house, but did not ask him to leave. The house exploded 30 minutes later. The boy suffered permanent impairments in the use of his hands. Attorney Gismondi obtained a very significant, multimillion-dollar settlement, which will provide the boy with financial security for the rest of his life and cover all future medical needs.

    Multimillion-dollar settlement

    A man in his mid-40s residing in Allegheny County was killed aboard USAir Flight 427, which crashed near the Greater Pittsburgh Airport in September 1994. Our firm served as one of the lead counsel in the aviation incident litigation against USAir and Boeing. The case produced the longest investigation in aviation history in the United States. On behalf of this man’s widow and child, we obtained a multimillion-dollar settlement.

    Multimillion-dollar recovery

    A young man in his early 20s was driving his motorcycle on a bright and clear sunny day when suddenly a cement truck made an improper left turn into his lane of travel and crashed into the motorcycle. Because of the motorcycle accident, he suffered severe and permanent brain damage, which made him a quadriplegic and wheelchair-bound who was unable to speak and had to be fed through a tube. We obtained a multimillion-dollar recovery for the young man and his mother so that a new home could be built and 24-hour care could be provided for him.

    Multimillion-dollar award

    A five-month-old baby was undergoing liver surgery at a Pittsburgh hospital when a “grounding pad” was placed on the baby’s thigh to be used in conjunction with an electric scalpel. However, the nurses placed the grounding pad incorrectly and did not observe it properly during the surgery. As a result, the baby suffered a third-degree burn on her thigh and three days later had amputation of the leg at the hip. A medical malpractice claim was filed against the hospital and a products liability claim was filed against the company, which manufactured the grounding pad because they knew that the pad had caused burns in the past and did not adequately warn people how to safely use it. We obtained a multimillion-dollar award for this child.

    Multimillion Dollar Recovery for Death of a Man Who Suffered Severe Brain Damage During Cardiopulmonary Bypass for Mitral Valve Surgery

    Wrongful Death During Cardiopulmonary Bypass for Mitral Valve Surgery

    This previously healthy unmarried, 34-year-old man went into the hospital for mitral valve repair. Most mitral valve surgeries require that the patient go on cardiopulmonary bypass, using a heart-lung machine so the heart can be stopped and safely operated on. This procedure essentially involves shutting down the heart and diverting the blood circulation to a machine which infuses the blood with oxygen (just as our lungs would do) and then pumps it to the body (Just as the heart would do) beyond the location of the surgery. Safe and effective performance of cardiopulmonary bypass requires constant communication and coordination between the surgeon, the anesthesiologist and the perfusionist who runs the heart bypass machine. In this case, the mitral valve surgery itself was successful but, sadly, the patient did not wake up after surgery. A CT scan of the brain done the following day showed that the patient had suffered significant brain damage during the surgery, and as a result he died three days later.
     
    After consultation with a team of experts including cardiothoracic surgeons, anesthesiologists, and perfusionists, we were able to present a successful claim on behalf of the young man’s parents. The claim included economic loss since the man was employed as a service technician for a security company, and it also included the parents’ loss of the relationship with their son.

    Multimillion-dollar recovery

    A husband and father from western Pennsylvania was undergoing a kidney transplant at a Pittsburgh hospital with an organ donated by his wife. During his surgery, the anesthesia team provided the patient with far too much fluid and slowly, over time this “fluid overload” caused the patient’s lungs to stop working. As a result, he died in the operating room from pulmonary edema and excessive fluid in the lungs. We filed a medical malpractice claim and wrongful death claim against the anesthesia team at the hospital and obtained a multimillion-dollar recovery on behalf of this man’s widow and children.

    Multi-million dollar recovery

    Failure to properly treat pre-eclampsia

    Recovery for a young Allegheny County woman who suffered permanent kidney damage due to failure to properly treat pre-eclampsia. The patient ended up with an organ transplant.
     
    Pre-eclampsia is a condition in which a pregnant woman develops high blood pressure and elevated levels of protein in the urine during pregnancy. Depending on how high the blood pressure and protein levels are, pre-eclampsia can present serious risks to the mother including seizure. The only “treatment” for pre-eclampsia is delivery of the child. Therefore when an expectant mother develops pre-eclampsia that is “severe” the best practice is to keep the patient hospitalized under 24 surveillance and, if they are at least 33- weeks gestation, deliver them within 48 hours. The benefit of 24-hour monitoring in the hospital, as opposed to sending the mother home, is that you can immediately deliver the baby at the first sign of any deterioration in the mother’s condition.
     
    In this case, the mother’s blood pressure and protein were high enough to classify her as having severe pre-eclampsia, but the doctors sent her home with instructions to take her blood pressure and return to the hospital if it got above a certain level. Our expert says that was not the appropriate way to manage pre-eclampsia because it shifted the burden of managing care to the patient herself. She should have been kept in the hospital under 24-hour surveillance. This woman went home, her condition did deteriorate, and she suffered a placental abruption before she could get back to the hospital and deliver the baby. Although the baby survived the placental abruption, the significant blood loss caused by the abruption led to permanent kidney damage known as acute tubular necrosis, i.e. death of part of the kidney. As a result of the kidney damage, this young mother was on dialysis for a few years and ultimately required a kidney transplant.
     
    The burden of being on dialysis for a few years and then having a transplant, all the while having a newborn at home, placed a tremendous stress on this new mother and her husband. That was clearly part of our damages in the case. Additionally, as a result of having an organ to transplant, she would have to be on anti-rejection drugs for the rest of her life. Those are very expensive medications and, unfortunately, they have certain side effects, e.g., they suppress the immune system and make people very prone to infection and/or, in some rare cases, they can lead to skin cancer and lymphoma. All of that formed part of our damage claim in this case. Additionally, the husband and wife had a claim for how this entire ordeal impacted their relationship and the stability in the household.

    Multi-million Dollar Award

    A 50-year-old woman from Beaver County was driving on the Pennsylvania Turnpike when she suddenly hit a patch of ice causing her car to veer out of control and crash. She suffered severe trauma and orthopedic injuries, including hip fracture, leg fracture, broken back and significant scarring. We were able to prove that improper construction and drainage on the road led to the collection of water and ice formation, and that, furthermore, highway maintenance crews failed to remove the ice. A very large multi-million dollar award was obtained for this woman, which will enable her to pay for future medical care, replace her annual wages and also pay for household help for the rest of her life.

    Multi-million dollar recovery for Family of Worker Killed at Marcellus Shale well

    Marcellus Shale Gas Well Explosion Case

    This case involved a violent explosion which occurred at a Marcellus Shale gas well owned and operated by Chevron. The explosion led to the death of a 28-year-old gas services technician employed by an outside contractor. This was one of the first deaths that occurred in western Pennsylvania arising out of the recent surge in gas and oil drilling via the hydrofracking method. While hydrofracking for gas and oil has produced many new jobs in our region, it is very dangerous work that can produce serious personal injuries and death, particularly when companies do not follow proper safety procedures. In this case, we argued that Chevron was not properly supervising activity at the wellhead and, as a result, some workmen were “tinkering” with the seal on the well in an improper way which led to a large leak of gas. Also, Chevron had left the well sit for nearly a year with tremendous pressure and inadequate equipment and safety devices to reduce the likelihood of a leak.
     
    This case involved a great deal of “detective” work to figure out exactly how the leak had occurred. As in many cases involving gas leaks or figure and explosion, we relied on expert witnesses to sort out what had happened.
     
    The worker who died in this accident was not married, but he had a young infant son. Therefore, our primary claim in the case was for all of the loss of economic support, as well as the loss of guidance and upbringing, that this young child would experience as a consequence of his father’s death. The proceeds from the lawsuit were placed into a Trust that would be available to take care of the child’s maintenance and support for the rest of his life. The money, of course, is no substitute for the child’s father, but it at least provides him with the means for his mother to provide a safe and secure environment for the child’s upbringing.

    Multi-million Dollar Recovery

    Explosion and Fire at Steel Plant

    A steamfitter working for an outside contractor assigned to a U.S. Steel plant in the Pittsburgh area suffered serious burns to his face, hands and lower body as a result of a gas explosion inside the plant. The plaintiff and members of his work crew had come into the plant to do some repair work on a large piece of equipment serviced by a 30-inch gas line. It was our contention that the plant owners failed to safely control the flow of volatile coke oven gas which was allowed to escape and then was ignited producing a tremendous explosion. The owner of the plant attempted to argue that it was the plaintiff and his co-workers who had the responsibility to control the gas, but we were able to show that all of the instructions for shutting off and controlling the gas were prepared by the plant owner, not the plaintiff or his crew.
     
    As a result of his injuries, the plaintiff spent nearly six weeks in the hospital. Burns are among the most painful injuries that we see, and this gentleman endured a great deal of suffering not only in the hospital but for a long period of time after his discharge. Additionally, despite multiple surgeries on his hands, he was never able to re-gain enough function to be able to return to his former job as a steamfitter. Therefore, a large part of our claim was for past and future wage loss. The plaintiff was a married man, and in any case involving injury to a husband, the spouse has a separate claim for loss of consortium, and in this situation that claim was a significant one as the wife not only lost a great deal of what her husband used to provide for her, but she was required to pick up a lot of the burden around the house for things that her husband was unable to do.

    Multi-Million Dollar Recovery for Death Caused by Faulty Construction Equipment

    Work Site Death Caused by Unsafe Winch

    Recovery relating to the death of a young man in a construction accident involving a faulty piece of equipment, a portable winch. The worker was using the winch to lift supplies at a construction site at a Pittsburgh work site when part of his clothing became caught in the drum of the winch, and he was drawn in and his chest was gradually constricted to the point that he could no longer breathe. The winch was not equipped with a “dead man” switch that would have deactivated the winch as soon as the worker’s hand was no longer on the control lever. When sold as original equipment, the winch was equipped with a “dead man” switch, but the switch was broken and the company that did the repair did not replace it with a similar “dead man” switch.
     
    “Dead man” switches have been around as important product safety features for many years. The purpose of these devices is to disengage or shut off motorized equipment as soon as the operator becomes “separated” from the machine. The most common application of “dead man” technology is the common walk behind power mower that requires the operator to depress a bar underneath the handle in order to keep the cutting blades engaged. As soon as the operator’s hands come off that bar, the blades no longer rotate. Similar “dead man” technology is used in some jet skis and snowmobiles that have their engine cut off as soon as the operator’s hand is no longer on the throttle. In our case, the winch as originally sold was equipped with a spring-loaded lever that required constant application of the operator’s hand in order to engage the motor which powered the equipment. In this case, however, the repair shop replaced the broken deadman switch with one that operated more like a common light switch, i.e. once you threw the switch to the “on” position, you could walk away and the motor would remain running.
     
    Removing or changing safety features which are part of original equipment is a common occurrence in product liability litigation. One of the most frequent of such occurrences is companies which purchase equipment that have safety guards and then, for convenience or speed of work, they remove the guard. In those situations, the product company usually defends the case on the ground that the removal was never anticipated and, therefore, the purchasing company, not the manufacturer, is at fault.
     
    In this construction accident case, the repair shop admitted that they put the wrong switch on the product, but they claimed that the real cause of the accident was the unsafe conduct of the worker’s employer or the general contractor who was overseeing the project. In particular, they argued that the machine should not have been used for lifting the supplies; it was set up improperly; they failed to train the worker on how to use it; and, most importantly, the employer sent the equipment out to the job site with the operating handle broken. They also claimed that the young worker himself was contributorily negligent because he got too close to the machine while it was operating.
     
    In product litigation or construction accident litigation, the injured worker has to prove that someone other than his employer is at fault for the accident because a worker is not allowed to sue their own employer. An injured worker is only entitled to receive workmen’s compensation from their employer; they cannot sue them for pain and suffering and other damages that are available in a private lawsuit. Therefore, in this case, our strategy was to focus on the conduct of the repair shop and to deflect attention away from the poor conduct of the employer.
     
    This young worker was survived by his wife, but they had no children. In a wrongful death case such as this, the major elements of damages which we claimed were all of the future wages this man would have earned and, more importantly, the loss of “companionship and society” suffered by the wife who lost her husband. In wrongful death cases, this so-called “loss of consortium” claim by the surviving spouse is a significant item of damages. Also, if there are children under the age of 18, they too have significant claims for the loss of “guidance and tutelage” in wrongful death cases.

    Multi-Million Dollar Recovery for Death in Aviation/Helicopter Accident

    Fatal Helicopter Accident

    Multi-million dollar recovery for the family of a young executive killed in a helicopter crash.  This lawsuit involved both the company operating the aircraft and the company who manufactured the helicopter. As with most aviation cases, this one involved a great deal of investigation and the work of many different experts including aviation consultants, engineers, metallurgists, and pilots. Putting together an effective investigation team is something we typically do in all aviation cases, and it can be critical to the success of the case. In this particular case, our exhaustive investigation eventually led to a conclusion that the accident happened primarily as a result of pilot error and not a manufacturing defect. Among other things, it appears that the pilot failed to avoid bad weather in the area of the crash and also flew at too low of an altitude and struck the ground with the tail section of the chopper.
     
    The NTSB had also investigated the accident and came to a similar conclusion. However, while certain parts of the NTSB investigation can be used in private litigation, the ultimate conclusion reached by the NTSB as to the cause of the accident is not permitted to be used in a lawsuit. Therefore, we have to hire our own team of experts to thoroughly investigate the case and prove the cause of the accident.
     
    The young woman who died in the crash was employed by a large company in the Pittsburgh region. She was survived by her parents. Therefore, the claim for damages involved economic loss as well as the parents’ loss of their relationship with the daughter.

    Multi-Million Dollar Award for Hydrofracking Related Death

    Gas Well Explosion Kills Young Service Technician

    This case involved a violent explosion which occurred at a Marcellus Shale gas well owned and operated by Chevron. The explosion led to the death of a 28-year-old gas services technician employed by an outside contractor. This was one of the first deaths that occurred in western Pennsylvania arising out of the recent surge in gas and oil drilling via the hydrofracking method. While hydrofracking for gas and oil has produced many new jobs in our region, it is very dangerous work that can produce serious personal injuries and death, particularly when companies do not follow proper safety procedures. In this case, we argued that Chevron was not properly supervising activity at the wellhead and, as a result, some workmen were “tinkering” with the seal on the well in an improper way which led to a large leak of gas. Also, Chevron had left the well sit for nearly a year with tremendous pressure and inadequate equipment and safety devices to reduce the likelihood of a leak.
     
    This case involved a great deal of “detective” work to figure out exactly how the leak had occurred. As in many cases involving gas leaks or figure and explosion, we relied on expert witnesses to sort out what had happened.
     
    The worker who died in this accident was not married, but he had a young infant son. Therefore, our primary claim in the case was for all of the loss of economic support, as well as the loss of guidance and upbringing, that this young child would experience as a consequence of his father’s death. We were able to secure a multi-million dollar recovery, which was placed into a Trust that would be available to take care of the child’s maintenance and support for the rest of his life. The money, of course, is no substitute for the child’s father, but it at least provides him with the means for his mother to provide a safe and secure environment for the child’s upbringing

    Multimillion-dollar recovery

    Anesthesia Error Caused Wrongful Death after Kidney Surgery

    Recovery for the family of an Armstrong County man who died at a UPMC hospital after a “successful” kidney transplant surgery. Although the transplant went well, the patient’s anesthesia and fluid intake was not properly controlled during the surgery and, as a result, his lungs were overcome with fluid, and he suffered a respiratory arrest.
     
    Our client’s husband had suffered kidney damage for a few years and, finally, after being on the transplant list for a few years, an organ was obtained for the husband. Naturally, the family was elated. The patient went into surgery and the transplant itself went fine, but other problems developed in the operating room. Many surgeries involve a lot of blood loss and, therefore, it is the job of an anesthesiologist to compensate for that by administering fluids to the patient during the surgery. If a patient does not have enough fluid on board, his or her blood pressure can drop to dangerously low levels. On the other hand, if the patient is given too much fluid he or she can develop breathing problems as a result of “fluid in the lungs.” In this case, as soon as the surgery was over, this man started to develop very serious breathing problems, yet they still removed him from the ventilator and sent him to the recovery room. He died just a few hours later in the recovery room due to those breathing problems.
     
    We retained an expert anesthesiologist who was very experienced in transplant cases and, after reviewing the records, he indicated that the anesthesia team had “fluid overloaded” the patient during the surgery and that is why his lungs stopped functioning.
     
    This was a very sad and tragic turn of events for a family that was looking forward to a “new lease on life” for their father and husband. Ironically, the surgery that was supposed to make him better ended up costing him his life.
     
    The damages that are claimed in this sort of wrongful death case include future earnings of the husband as well as the wife’s loss of society and companionship of her husband, and the young children’s loss of the “guidance and tutelage” of their father. As we often say in these situations, money is no substitute for the loss of a spouse or a father, but at a minimum, it provided financial security to this devastated family.

    Multimillion-dollar recovery

    A young married woman from Pittsburgh was in the recovery room of a Pittsburgh hospital after undergoing a minor surgery. The nurses who were responsible for watching her failed to notice that she was not coming out of anesthesia and her breathing rate was becoming slower and slower until the point that she suffered a respiratory arrest with resulting severe brain damage. We filed a medical malpractice claim against the hospital and obtained a multimillion-dollar recovery on behalf of this woman’s husband.

    Multi-million Dollar Jury Verdict

    A young scientist from Pittsburgh was killed as she crossed the street with the right-of-way at a dangerous intersection near Frick Park. The intersection had been the scene of many prior accidents of which the City of Pittsburgh was aware. A large multimillion-dollar jury verdict was obtained against the City for failure to have proper traffic control devices at the intersection. Attorney Gismondi and the family of the deceased woman donated part of the award to pay for a pedestrian safety flasher to be installed at the intersection so that it would be safer for the children and adults who used the nearby playground.

    Multi-million dollar recovery

    Marcellus Shale Gas Well Explosion Case

    This case involved a violent explosion which occurred at a Marcellus Shale gas well owned and operated by Chevron. The explosion led to the death of a 28-year-old gas services technician employed by an outside contractor. This was one of the first deaths that occurred in western Pennsylvania arising out of the recent surge in gas and oil drilling via the hydrofracking method. While hydrofracking for gas and oil has produced many new jobs in our region, it is very dangerous work that can produce serious personal injuries and death, particularly when companies do not follow proper safety procedures. In this case, we argued that Chevron was not properly supervising activity at the wellhead and, as a result, some workmen were “tinkering” with the seal on the well in an improper way which led to a large leak of gas. Also, Chevron had left the well sit for nearly a year with tremendous pressure and inadequate equipment and safety devices to reduce the likelihood of a leak.
     
    This case involved a great deal of “detective” work to figure out exactly how the leak had occurred. As in many cases involving gas leaks or figure and explosion, we relied on expert witnesses to sort out what had happened.
     
    The worker who died in this accident was not married, but he had a young infant son. Therefore, our primary claim in the case was for all of the loss of economic support, as well as the loss of guidance and upbringing, that this young child would experience as a consequence of his father’s death. The proceeds from the lawsuit were placed into a Trust that would be available to take care of the child’s maintenance and support for the rest of his life. The money, of course, is no substitute for the child’s father, but it at least provides him with the means for his mother to provide a safe and secure environment for the child’s upbringing.

    Multimillion-dollar recovery

    A 51-year-old woman who lived in the Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh and was married to a local doctor underwent gastric bypass surgery. After being discharged to her home, she return to the hospital a few days later because of a bowel obstruction. While undergoing surgery to treat the bowel obstruction, the anesthesiologist did not properly insert the breathing tube (called an endotracheal tube), and the patient ended up with aspiration pneumonia and died several days later. She left two sons under the age of 10. We filed a medical malpractice and wrongful death claim and obtained a multimillion-dollar recovery against the hospital and the anesthesiologist.

    Multimillion-dollar recovery

    A school teacher from Bethel Park suffered a devastating stroke when she was mistakenly given the wrong drug in the emergency room at a Mt. Lebanon hospital. The patient was supposed to be given a drug to lower her blood pressure, but instead, she was given a medication that raised her pressure. As a result, she suffered a stroke, which left her unable to work and with a severe speech and movement impairment. We obtained a multimillion-dollar recovery on behalf of this woman and her husband.

    Multi-million dollar recovery for failure to diagnose fluid build up in brain

    A young husband and father from Cranberry Township, Butler County went to the ER at UPMC Passavant Hospital with an excruciating headache. A CT scan of the head was done, and he was told that everything was normal. In reality, it was not normal. He had a collection of fluid which the doctors failed to see on the CT scan until several days later. In the meantime, he suffered permanent brain damage from the build-up of pressure in his brain. If the fluid had been seen from the beginning, it could have been drained without any permanent brain damage. We obtained a very significant, multi-million dollar award for Jim, his wife and children.

    Multi-million Dollar Recovery

    Explosion and Fire at Steel Plant

    A steamfitter working for an outside contractor assigned to a U.S. Steel plant in the Pittsburgh area suffered serious burns to his face, hands and lower body as a result of a gas explosion inside the plant. The plaintiff and members of his work crew had come into the plant to do some repair work on a large piece of equipment serviced by a 30-inch gas line. It was our contention that the plant owners failed to safely control the flow of volatile coke oven gas which was allowed to escape and then was ignited producing a tremendous explosion. The owner of the plant attempted to argue that it was the plaintiff and his co-workers who had the responsibility to control the gas, but we were able to show that all of the instructions for shutting off and controlling the gas were prepared by the plant owner, not the plaintiff or his crew.
     
    As a result of his injuries, the plaintiff spent nearly six weeks in the hospital. Burns are among the most painful injuries that we see, and this gentleman endured a great deal of suffering not only in the hospital but for a long period of time after his discharge. Additionally, despite multiple surgeries on his hands, he was never able to re-gain enough function to be able to return to his former job as a steamfitter. Therefore, a large part of our claim was for past and future wage loss. The plaintiff was a married man, and in any case involving injury to a husband, the spouse has a separate claim for loss of consortium, and in this situation that claim was a significant one as the wife not only lost a great deal of what her husband used to provide for her, but she was required to pick up a lot of the burden around the house for things that her husband was unable to do.

    Multi-million Dollar Award

    A young husband and father from Cranberry Township, Butler County, went to the ER with an excruciating headache. A CT scan of the head was done, and he was told that everything was normal. In reality, it was not normal. He had a collection of fluid, which the doctors failed to see on the CT scan until several days later. In the meantime, he suffered permanent brain damage from the build-up of pressure in his brain. If the fluid had been seen from the beginning, it could have been drained without any permanent damage. We obtained a very significant, multimillion-dollar award for the victim, his wife and children.

    Multi-million dollar settlement

    Spinal hematoma causing loss of leg function

    A 64-year-old Blair County man became paralyzed as a result of a delay in diagnosing and removing a hematoma which was pressing on his spinal cord. This man came to the emergency room with complaints of sudden pain in his back and right flank. An MRI of the spine was done, but the radiologist who read it “missed” the hematoma which should have been visible. The man was admitted to the hospital for further investigation. At that time, he was not yet paralyzed. However several hours later he started to complain that he was having trouble moving one of his legs, a critical sign that should have triggered another immediate MRI. Unfortunately, that did not happen. Instead, more than 12 hours went by before another MRI was ordered and at that point the patient was having trouble moving both legs. The hospital staff eventually discovered the hematoma pressing on the cord and arranged surgery to remove it, but by that time the man had lost permanent function in his legs.
     
    A spinal hematoma is simply a collection of blood that can form for a variety of reasons. When a hematoma forms near the spinal cord, it can cause neurologic damage if it starts to press on the cord for a long period of time without being removed. That is what happened in this case. Our argument against the hospital was that they should have discovered and removed the hematoma much sooner, and certainly before the patient lost function in his legs.
     
    The damages we claimed included income loss from the modest job the patient had and also “life care costs” for all of the special needs that the man had, primarily the need for attendant care at home, i.e., people to help him around the house with bathing, dressing and the like. In addition, our claim included damages for the basic fact that he would now be confined to a wheelchair for the remainder of his life.

    Multi-million Dollar Award

    A 44-year-old man from Baldwin, Allegheny County, was riding his motorcycle on a beautiful clear day. While stopped at a red light, a coal truck struck him from behind and caused his bike to burst into flames. The motorcycle driver suffered serious burns to his buttocks and lower legs. One of his legs was burned so bad that it had to be amputated. He spent more than a year getting burn treatment at Mercy Hospital. We obtained a very significant multimillion-dollar award for this very seriously injured man.

    Multi-million Dollar Recovery

    A young husband and wife suffered serious burns when a propane tank being carried in the back of their car suddenly ignited and caused a fire inside while they were driving. The propane tank had been filled just minutes earlier at a convenience store. We filed a claim against the convenience store and were able to prove that the fire occurred because the propane tank had been overfilled. We obtained a significant multimillion-dollar recovery on their behalf.

    Multi-million dollar recovery

    Marcellus Shale Gas Well Explosion Case

    This case involved a violent explosion which occurred at a Marcellus Shale gas well owned and operated by Chevron. The explosion led to the death of a 28-year-old gas services technician employed by an outside contractor. This was one of the first deaths that occurred in western Pennsylvania arising out of the recent surge in gas and oil drilling via the hydrofracking method. While hydrofracking for gas and oil has produced many new jobs in our region, it is very dangerous work that can produce serious personal injuries and death, particularly when companies do not follow proper safety procedures. In this case, we argued that Chevron was not properly supervising activity at the wellhead and, as a result, some workmen were “tinkering” with the seal on the well in an improper way which led to a large leak of gas. Also, Chevron had left the well sit for nearly a year with tremendous pressure and inadequate equipment and safety devices to reduce the likelihood of a leak.
     
    This case involved a great deal of “detective” work to figure out exactly how the leak had occurred. As in many cases involving gas leaks or figure and explosion, we relied on expert witnesses to sort out what had happened.
     
    The worker who died in this accident was not married, but he had a young infant son. Therefore, our primary claim in the case was for all of the loss of economic support, as well as the loss of guidance and upbringing, that this young child would experience as a consequence of his father’s death. The proceeds from the lawsuit were placed into a Trust that would be available to take care of the child’s maintenance and support for the rest of his life. The money, of course, is no substitute for the child’s father, but it at least provides him with the means for his mother to provide a safe and secure environment for the child’s upbringing.

    Multi-million Dollar Recovery

    Explosion and Fire at Steel Plant

    A steamfitter working for an outside contractor assigned to a U.S. Steel plant in the Pittsburgh area suffered serious burns to his face, hands and lower body as a result of a gas explosion inside the plant. The plaintiff and members of his work crew had come into the plant to do some repair work on a large piece of equipment serviced by a 30-inch gas line. It was our contention that the plant owners failed to safely control the flow of volatile coke oven gas which was allowed to escape and then was ignited producing a tremendous explosion. The owner of the plant attempted to argue that it was the plaintiff and his co-workers who had the responsibility to control the gas, but we were able to show that all of the instructions for shutting off and controlling the gas were prepared by the plant owner, not the plaintiff or his crew.
     
    As a result of his injuries, the plaintiff spent nearly six weeks in the hospital. Burns are among the most painful injuries that we see, and this gentleman endured a great deal of suffering not only in the hospital but for a long period of time after his discharge. Additionally, despite multiple surgeries on his hands, he was never able to re-gain enough function to be able to return to his former job as a steamfitter. Therefore, a large part of our claim was for past and future wage loss. The plaintiff was a married man, and in any case involving injury to a husband, the spouse has a separate claim for loss of consortium, and in this situation that claim was a significant one as the wife not only lost a great deal of what her husband used to provide for her, but she was required to pick up a lot of the burden around the house for things that her husband was unable to do.

    Multimillion-dollar recovery

    Young Child Severly Injured by Unsafe Storage Box

    Multi-million dollar recovery for the parents of a young child who suffered severe brain damage as a result of her head and neck becoming entrapped in a storage box that did not have a proper safety latch on the lid. The claim was brought against the national retail chain that sold the box.
     
    The storage box was made of wicker with an attached lid. It was approximately 3 feet wide and about 18 inches high. The family was using the wicker trunk for storage of toys in their family room. The accident apparently happened when the child was reaching into the toy box and the lid slammed down and trapped her neck on the rim of the trunk. Tragically, this cut off oxygen supply to her brain, and she suffered severe brain damage.
     
    We sued the seller of the wicker trunk claiming that it was a defective product for not having an appropriate lid support mechanism, i.e., a safety latch, which any trunk is supposed to have if it is being marketed as appropriate for storage of toys. One of the major disputes in this case was whether this wicker box was intended for use as a toy box. The retailer claimed it was not, but after many hours of research, we were able to find statements on the retailer’s website where they said the trunk was “perfect for storage of toys.” That was very powerful evidence. We were also able to find evidence that the testing lab which inspected the wicker trunk failed it because it had no safety latch. The retailer, however, accepted the truck and decided to sell it anyway.
     
    The other major argument the retailer made in the case was that the parent should have been watching the child more closely, but the evidence showed that at best the child was only out of the parent’s sight for a few minutes, something that was hardly unusual in our view.
     
    Lack of oxygen to the brain causes a condition called hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. That simply means that someone has suffered significant damage to brain tissue because of lack of oxygen. This child was previously healthy, but after the accident she was unable to talk or talk and had to be fed through a tube. She required 24-hour care.
     
    Our damage claim in the case was extensive. It included all of the life care costs for around-the-clock attention to the child; a claim for loss of future earning power; and the parents’ claim for the loss of the relationship with their child.
     
    As in most cases involving a brain-damaged child, the defense, while admitting that the child needed 24-hour care, argued that the life expectancy of the child was not very long and, therefore, the length of time during which the medical care would be necessary would be limited. We disputed that claim, and in any event, argued that it would hardly be something that diminished the devastation the child, and the family, had suffered.

    A multimillion-dollar recovery

    Cauda Equina Syndrome Case Result

    $1.8 Million verdict for missed diagnosis of cauda equina syndrome at Forbes Regional Hospital

    Recovery for a Butler County man who suffered a delay in diagnosing cauda equina syndrome. This is a condition in which a ruptured disk presses on the bottom of the spinal cord and, if not detected, can cause paralysis of the legs. Unfortunately, that is what happened to this man in his mid-30s. He had symptoms suggesting that there might be something compressing his spinal cord, but there was a delay in getting a CT scan or MRI in order to discover it.
     
    As with most cauda equina cases, the focus of the debate in this case was on a delay in obtaining a CT scan or an MRI. Cauda equina is usually caused by a bulging disk that compresses the strand of nerves that starts at the bottom of the spinal cord. The best way to diagnose this condition is with an MRI. The problem in this case, as with most cauda equina cases, is that there is a delay in getting the MRI, and the longer the disk compresses on that strand of nerves, the more likely the patient is going to have permanent neurologic harm. In this case, the patient had some of the telltale early signs of cauda equina such as back pain, numbness to both legs and abnormal bladder function.
     
    Part of the reason for the delay in this case was miscommunication between the emergency room physician and the patient’s family physician. There was some disagreement among them as to who should have been responsible for getting the MRI. Those sorts of miscommunication, however, should not happen in the hospital. Also, there was some disagreement between the family doctor and the nursing staff as to whether they had informed the doctor that the patient’s neurologic condition was deteriorating. By the time they got around to doing the MRI, it was too late. Emergency surgery was performed to relieve the pressure caused by the disk, but the patient by that time had permanent nerve damage and had lost most of the function of his legs.
     
    From a damage standpoint, this young man was pretty much homebound and had to use a wheelchair to get around. He needed a great deal of assistance with dressing and bathing and the like. As in most cases involving spinal cord injury and paraplegia, we hired an expert to prepare a “life care plan,” which is a projection of all of the future medical and related needs that the patient is going to have and how much they will cost. Typical things included in the life care plan include the cost of attendant care at home or in a nursing facility; cost to rehabilitate the home to make it handicapped-accessible; medication costs; future medical visits; wheelchair expenses; and transportation costs such as a specialized vehicle or van with hand controls or wheelchair lift.

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    Multimillion-dollar recovery

    A school teacher from Bethel Park suffered a devastating stroke when she was mistakenly given the wrong drug in the emergency room at a local hospital. The patient was supposed to be given a drug to lower her blood pressure, but instead, she was given a medication that raised her pressure. As a result, she suffered a stroke, which left her unable to work and with a severe speech and movement impairment. We obtained a multimillion-dollar recovery on behalf of this woman and her husband.

    Multi-Million Dollar Recovery for Death in Aviation/Helicopter Accident

    Fatal Helicopter Accident

    Multi-million dollar recovery for the family of a young executive killed in a helicopter crash.  This lawsuit involved both the company operating the aircraft and the company who manufactured the helicopter. As with most aviation cases, this one involved a great deal of investigation and the work of many different experts including aviation consultants, engineers, metallurgists, and pilots. Putting together an effective investigation team is something we typically do in all aviation cases, and it can be critical to the success of the case. In this particular case, our exhaustive investigation eventually led to a conclusion that the accident happened primarily as a result of pilot error and not a manufacturing defect. Among other things, it appears that the pilot failed to avoid bad weather in the area of the crash and also flew at too low of an altitude and struck the ground with the tail section of the chopper.
     
    The NTSB had also investigated the accident and came to a similar conclusion. However, while certain parts of the NTSB investigation can be used in private litigation, the ultimate conclusion reached by the NTSB as to the cause of the accident is not permitted to be used in a lawsuit. Therefore, we have to hire our own team of experts to thoroughly investigate the case and prove the cause of the accident.
     
    The young woman who died in the crash was employed by a large company in the Pittsburgh region. She was survived by her parents. Therefore, the claim for damages involved economic loss as well as the parents’ loss of their relationship with the daughter.

    Multi-million Dollar Award

    A young woman from Pittsburgh suffered serious leg injuries, which led to an amputation as a result of an automobile accident that happened on Interstate 79 near Washington, PA. The accident happened because the driver of the vehicle fell asleep at the wheel. Although this woman was able to resume working, her lifestyle was dramatically changed as a result of the amputation. We obtained a multimillion-dollar recovery on her behalf.

    Multimillion-dollar recovery

    Young Child Severly Injured by Unsafe Storage Box

    Multi-million dollar recovery for the parents of a young child who suffered severe brain damage as a result of her head and neck becoming entrapped in a storage box that did not have a proper safety latch on the lid. The claim was brought against the national retail chain that sold the box.
     
    The storage box was made of wicker with an attached lid. It was approximately 3 feet wide and about 18 inches high. The family was using the wicker trunk for storage of toys in their family room. The accident apparently happened when the child was reaching into the toy box and the lid slammed down and trapped her neck on the rim of the trunk. Tragically, this cut off oxygen supply to her brain, and she suffered severe brain damage.
     
    We sued the seller of the wicker trunk claiming that it was a defective product for not having an appropriate lid support mechanism, i.e., a safety latch, which any trunk is supposed to have if it is being marketed as appropriate for storage of toys. One of the major disputes in this case was whether this wicker box was intended for use as a toy box. The retailer claimed it was not, but after many hours of research, we were able to find statements on the retailer’s website where they said the trunk was “perfect for storage of toys.” That was very powerful evidence. We were also able to find evidence that the testing lab which inspected the wicker trunk failed it because it had no safety latch. The retailer, however, accepted the truck and decided to sell it anyway.
     
    The other major argument the retailer made in the case was that the parent should have been watching the child more closely, but the evidence showed that at best the child was only out of the parent’s sight for a few minutes, something that was hardly unusual in our view.
     
    Lack of oxygen to the brain causes a condition called hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. That simply means that someone has suffered significant damage to brain tissue because of lack of oxygen. This child was previously healthy, but after the accident she was unable to talk or talk and had to be fed through a tube. She required 24-hour care.
     
    Our damage claim in the case was extensive. It included all of the life care costs for around-the-clock attention to the child; a claim for loss of future earning power; and the parents’ claim for the loss of the relationship with their child.
     
    As in most cases involving a brain-damaged child, the defense, while admitting that the child needed 24-hour care, argued that the life expectancy of the child was not very long and, therefore, the length of time during which the medical care would be necessary would be limited. We disputed that claim, and in any event, argued that it would hardly be something that diminished the devastation the child, and the family, had suffered.

    Multimillion-dollar award

    A five-month-old baby was undergoing liver surgery at a hospital in Pittsburgh when a “grounding pad” was placed on the baby’s thigh to be used in conjunction with an electric scalpel. However, the nurses placed the grounding pad incorrectly and did not observe it properly during the surgery. As a result, the baby suffered a third-degree burn on her thigh and three days later had her leg amputated at the hip. A claim was filed against the hospital and also against the company that manufactured the grounding pad because they knew that the pad had caused burns in the past and did not adequately warn people how to safely use it. We obtained a multimillion-dollar award for this child.

    Multimillion-dollar award

    A 44-year-old man from Baldwin, Allegheny County, was riding his motorcycle on a beautiful clear day. While stopped at a red light, a coal truck struck him from behind and caused his bike to burst into flames. The motorcycle driver suffered serious burns to his buttocks and lower legs. One of his legs was burned so bad that it had to be amputated. He spent more than a year getting burn treatment at Mercy Hospital. We obtained a very significant multimillion-dollar award for this very seriously injured man.

    Multimillion-dollar award

    A five-month-old baby was undergoing liver surgery at a hospital in Pittsburgh when a “grounding pad” was placed on the baby’s thigh to be used in conjunction with an electric scalpel. However, the nurses placed the grounding pad incorrectly and did not observe it properly during the surgery. As a result, the baby suffered a third-degree burn on her thigh and three days later had her leg amputated at the hip. A medical malpractice claim was filed against the hospital and a products liability claim was filed against the company that manufactured the grounding pad because they knew that the pad had caused burns in the past and did not adequately warn people how to safely use it. We obtained a multimillion-dollar award for this child.

    Multimillion-dollar award

    A 50-year-old woman from Beaver County was driving on when she suddenly hit a patch of ice causing her car to veer out of control and crash. She suffered severe trauma and orthopedic injuries including, hip fracture, leg fracture, broken back and significant scarring. We were able to prove that improper construction and drainage on the road led to the collection of water and ice formation, and that, furthermore, highway maintenance crews failed to remove the ice. A very large multimillion-dollar award was obtained for this woman, which will enable her to pay for future medical care, replace her annual wages and also pay for household help for the rest of her life.

    Multimillion-dollar settlement

    A salesman from Baldwin was killed aboard USAir Flight 427, which crashed near the Greater Pittsburgh Airport in September 1994. Our firm served as one of the lead counsel on the aviation incideant against USAir and Boeing. The case produced the longest investigation in aviation history in the United States. On behalf of this man’s widow and children, we obtained a multimillion-dollar settlement.

    Multimillion-dollar award

    A five-month-old baby was undergoing liver surgery at a hospital for children in Pittsburgh when a “grounding pad” was placed on the baby’s thigh to be used in conjunction with an electric scalpel. However, the nurses placed the grounding pad incorrectly and did not observe it properly during the surgery. As a result, the baby suffered a third-degree burn on her thigh and three days later had her leg amputated at the hip. A medical malpractice claim was filed against the hospital and a products liability claim was filed against the company that manufactured the grounding pad because they knew that the pad had caused burns in the past and did not adequately warn people how to safely use it. We obtained a multimillion-dollar award for this child.

    Multimillion-dollar recovery

    A 65-year-old Pittsburgh-area man was in a Pittsburgh hospital after suffering a cervical (neck) fracture in an automobile accident. When he entered the hospital, he had full function of his arms and legs. However, the fracture was not properly stabilized, and the man was permitted to get out of bed with the broken neck. As a result, some of the fractured bone “moved” and hit the spinal cord. The gentleman became a paraplegic. We obtained a multimillion-dollar recovery on behalf of this man.

    Multimillion-dollar recovery

    A young woman from Pittsburgh suffered serious leg injuries, which led to an amputation as the result of a car accident that happened on Interstate 79 near Washington, Pennsylvania. The accident happened because the driver of the vehicle fell asleep at the wheel. Although this woman was able to resume working, her lifestyle was dramatically changed as a result of the amputation. We obtained a multimillion-dollar recovery on her behalf.

    Multimillion-dollar recovery 

    A newborn from Oil City, Franklin County, suffered severe brain damage as a result of a doctor’s failure to diagnose an inborn error of metabolism known as galactosemia. A test had been performed in the hospital, which showed that the child had galactosemia, but the test results were overlooked. As a result, the child was given food that he could not tolerate, and it caused permanent brain damage. After extensive litigation, we obtained a multimillion-dollar recovery on behalf of this brain-damaged child, and the money was safeguarded for his future needs.

    Multimillion-dollar recovery

    An 18-year-old girl from Pittsburgh was driving with some girlfriends to Ohio to purchase a dress for her senior prom. Tragically, a carelessly driven car crossed the center line, crashing into the girls’ vehicle. She suffered devastating head injury and brain swelling and died three days later. We filed a wrongful death claim and obtained a significant, multimillion-dollar recovery for her parents.

    Multimillion-dollar recovery

    A young man in his early 20s was driving his motorcycle on a bright and clear sunny day when suddenly a cement truck made an improper left turn into his lane of travel and crashed into the motorcycle. He suffered severe and permanent brain damage, which made him a quadriplegic who was unable to speak and had to be fed through a tube. We obtained a multimillion-dollar recovery for the young man and his mother so that a new home could be built and 24-hour care could be provided for him.

    Very significant multimillion-dollar award

    A 44-year-old man from Baldwin, Allegheny County, was riding his motorcycle on a beautiful clear day. While stopped at a red light, a coal truck struck him from behind and caused his bike to burst into flames. The motorcycle driver suffered serious burns to his buttocks and lower legs. One of his legs was burned so bad that it had to be amputated. He spent more than a year getting burn treatment at Mercy Hospital. We obtained a very significant multimillion-dollar award for this very seriously injured man.

    Multimillion-dollar recovery

    Explosion Wrongful Death Case

    Recovery for Pittsburgh-area worker killed in an explosion at an industrial plant. This workman was survived by a wife and two young children. The worker who was killed was employed by one of several contractors who were in the plant doing a large repair project for the owner. Among other things, the plant was in the business of processing gas, and it appears that there was a leak from one of the pipes that led to the explosion.

    Determining The Cause Of The Accident

    One of the big challenges in this case was sorting out the source of the leak and the cause of the explosion. The defendant operated a very complex gas processing system and has miles of pipeline. After lengthy investigation, it was ultimately determined that the source of the leak was old and damaged pipes, so we filed a lawsuit against the owner of the plaint. The owner, however, blamed certain of the contractors who were in the area claiming that they were creating sparks and other dangerous activity, which led to the explosions. OSHA had done an investigation of this explosion but was never able to establish the cause, however, we hired our own chemical engineer to prove that the owner’s failure to maintain its equipment in good condition was the source of the leak. That solidified our case against the owner and took the focus off any conduct of the contractor(s).

    In Pennsylvania, You Cannot Sue Your Employer In An Injury Case

    Fortunately, our client was employed by one of the contractors rather than the owner of the plant. If he had been employed by the owner, he would not have been able to file this lawsuit because under Pennsylvania law, a person cannot sue his or her employer if he or she is injured on the job. Instead, the only thing he or she is entitled to is workers’ compensation.
     
    The man killed in this accident was a good wage-earner so a large part of our wrongful death damages was his family’s loss of all of his future income. Also, a wrongful death claim in a situation like this includes compensation for the wife who has lost her husband and also compensation for the young children who have lost the guidance and upbringing of their father. The claims of the mother and the young children were a major part of the damages in the case.

    Significant multimillion-dollar award

    A 44-year-old man from Baldwin, Allegheny County, was riding his motorcycle on a beautiful clear day. While stopped at a red light, a coal truck struck him from behind and caused his bike to burst into flames. The motorcycle driver suffered serious burns to his buttocks and lower legs. One of his legs was burned so bad that it had to be amputated. He spent more than a year getting burn treatment at a local hospital. We obtained a very significant multimillion-dollar award for this very seriously injured man.

    Significant multimillion-dollar award

    A young husband and wife from Pittsburgh suffered serious burns when a propane tank being carried in the back of their car suddenly ignited and caused a fire inside while they were driving. The propane tank had been filled just minutes earlier at a convenience store. We filed a claim against the convenience store and were able to prove that the fire occurred because the propane tank had been overfilled. We obtained a significant multimillion-dollar recovery on their behalf.

    Multimillion-dollar recovery for Pittsburgh-area worker

    Explosion Wrongful Death Case

    Recovery for Pittsburgh-area worker killed in an explosion at an industrial plant. This workman was survived by a wife and two young children. The worker who was killed was employed by one of several contractors who were in the plant doing a large repair project for the owner. Among other things, the plant was in the business of processing gas, and it appears that there was a leak from one of the pipes that led to the explosion.

    Determining The Cause Of The Accident

    One of the big challenges in this case was sorting out the source of the leak and the cause of the explosion. The defendant operated a very complex gas processing system and has miles of pipeline. After lengthy investigation, it was ultimately determined that the source of the leak was old and damaged pipes, so we filed a lawsuit against the owner of the plaint. The owner, however, blamed certain of the contractors who were in the area claiming that they were creating sparks and other dangerous activity, which led to the explosions. OSHA had done an investigation of this explosion but was never able to establish the cause, however, we hired our own chemical engineer to prove that the owner’s failure to maintain its equipment in good condition was the source of the leak. That solidified our case against the owner and took the focus off any conduct of the contractor(s).

    In Pennsylvania, You Cannot Sue Your Employer In An Injury Case

    Fortunately, our client was employed by one of the contractors rather than the owner of the plant. If he had been employed by the owner, he would not have been able to file this lawsuit because under Pennsylvania law, a person cannot sue his or her employer if he or she is injured on the job. Instead, the only thing he or she is entitled to is workers’ compensation.
     
    The man killed in this accident was a good wage-earner so a large part of our wrongful death damages was his family’s loss of all of his future income. Also, a wrongful death claim in a situation like this includes compensation for the wife who has lost her husband and also compensation for the young children who have lost the guidance and upbringing of their father. The claims of the mother and the young children were a major part of the damages in the case.

    Multimillion-dollar recovery

    A young married woman from Pittsburgh was in the recovery room of a Pittsburgh hospital after undergoing a minor surgery. The nurses who were responsible for watching her failed to notice that she was not coming out of anesthesia and her breathing rate was becoming slower and slower until the point that she suffered a respiratory arrest resulting in severe brain damage. We filed a medical malpractice claim against the hospital and obtained a multimillion-dollar recovery on behalf of this woman’s husband.

    Multimillion-dollar recovery

    Explosion Wrongful Death Case

    Recovery for Pittsburgh-area worker killed in an explosion at an industrial plant. This workman was survived by a wife and two young children. The worker who was killed was employed by one of several contractors who were in the plant doing a large repair project for the owner. Among other things, the plant was in the business of processing gas, and it appears that there was a leak from one of the pipes that led to the explosion.

    Determining The Cause Of The Accident

    One of the big challenges in this case was sorting out the source of the leak and the cause of the explosion. The defendant operated a very complex gas processing system and has miles of pipeline. After lengthy investigation, it was ultimately determined that the source of the leak was old and damaged pipes, so we filed a lawsuit against the owner of the plaint. The owner, however, blamed certain of the contractors who were in the area claiming that they were creating sparks and other dangerous activity, which led to the explosions. OSHA had done an investigation of this explosion but was never able to establish the cause, however, we hired our own chemical engineer to prove that the owner’s failure to maintain its equipment in good condition was the source of the leak. That solidified our case against the owner and took the focus off any conduct of the contractor(s).

    In Pennsylvania, You Cannot Sue Your Employer In An Injury Case

    Fortunately, our client was employed by one of the contractors rather than the owner of the plant. If he had been employed by the owner, he would not have been able to file this lawsuit because under Pennsylvania law, a person cannot sue his or her employer if he or she is injured on the job. Instead, the only thing he or she is entitled to is workers’ compensation.
     
    The man killed in this accident was a good wage-earner so a large part of our wrongful death damages was his family’s loss of all of his future income. Also, a wrongful death claim in a situation like this includes compensation for the wife who has lost her husband and also compensation for the young children who have lost the guidance and upbringing of their father. The claims of the mother and the young children were a major part of the damages in the case.

    Multimillion-dollar recovery

    Anesthesia Error Caused Wrongful Death after Kidney Surgery

    Recovery for the family of an Armstrong County man who died at a UPMC hospital after a “successful” kidney transplant surgery. Although the transplant went well, the patient’s anesthesia and fluid intake was not properly controlled during the surgery and, as a result, his lungs were overcome with fluid, and he suffered a respiratory arrest.
     
    Our client’s husband had suffered kidney damage for a few years and, finally, after being on the transplant list for a few years, an organ was obtained for the husband. Naturally, the family was elated. The patient went into surgery and the transplant itself went fine, but other problems developed in the operating room. Many surgeries involve a lot of blood loss and, therefore, it is the job of an anesthesiologist to compensate for that by administering fluids to the patient during the surgery. If a patient does not have enough fluid on board, his or her blood pressure can drop to dangerously low levels. On the other hand, if the patient is given too much fluid he or she can develop breathing problems as a result of “fluid in the lungs.” In this case, as soon as the surgery was over, this man started to develop very serious breathing problems, yet they still removed him from the ventilator and sent him to the recovery room. He died just a few hours later in the recovery room due to those breathing problems.
     
    We retained an expert anesthesiologist who was very experienced in transplant cases and, after reviewing the records, he indicated that the anesthesia team had “fluid overloaded” the patient during the surgery and that is why his lungs stopped functioning.
     
    This was a very sad and tragic turn of events for a family that was looking forward to a “new lease on life” for their father and husband. Ironically, the surgery that was supposed to make him better ended up costing him his life.
     
    The damages that are claimed in this sort of wrongful death case include future earnings of the husband as well as the wife’s loss of society and companionship of her husband, and the young children’s loss of the “guidance and tutelage” of their father. As we often say in these situations, money is no substitute for the loss of a spouse or a father, but at a minimum, it provided financial security to this devastated family.

    Multimillion-dollar recovery

    Chelation Therapy Wrongful Death Case

    Recovery for the family of an autistic child who went into cardiac arrest and died after receiving chelation therapy from a Pittsburgh-area physician.

    What Is Chelation?

    Chelation is a controversial method of treatment employed by doctors who practice “alternative medicine.” The theory behind it is that people often have an excess amount of “heavy metals” in their blood stream, which are harmful and cause a lot of different diseases. In chelation therapy, a chemical solution is administered through an IV in order to extract or neutralize these heavy metals. One of the most common illnesses that chelation supporters use the therapy for is to counteract coronary artery disease. It is also used to treat a variety of other illnesses. Traditional medical doctors vehemently oppose this form of “treatment” saying it offers no benefit and can do harm.
     
    In our case, the doctor used IV chelation on a toddler to supposedly “treat” autism. Not only is chelation rarely used on children for anything, there is certainly no documented research saying that it helps to treat autism. Nevertheless, parents of autistic children, desperate to help their loved ones, are often willing to try any form of treatment. In this case, the family had been relying on dietary restrictions to help the child’s autism and when that did not lead to long-term improvement, it was recommended that they try chelation.

    IV Administration Of Chelation Solution Caused Cardiac Arrest

    In this case, the doctor’s staff inserted the IV administering the chelation solution and within a matter of minutes, the child went into cardiac arrest and could not be revived. The child was in the arms of his mother while the chelation was administered, and she was holding him when he went into cardiac arrest. It was our contention that the chelation solution was far too strong of a dose, and it was administered much too quickly, all of which caused the cardiac arrest and wrongful death.
     
    Any case involving the death of a child is heartbreaking, and this one was certainly no exception, particularly since the mother actually witnessed the event. Our claim for damages included the mother’s claim of negligent infliction of emotional distress and also for loss of potential earnings of the child.

    Jury rendered an award of over $3 million

    An eight-year-old girl underwent surgery to remove a small brown spot near her jaw line, but she ended up with horrific facial scarring that led to 14 additional surgeries, yet still could not remove the scars. The scarring occurred because the doctor tried an unconventional and dangerous surgery that had never before been performed for this condition on any other person, adult or child. However, the doctor did not tell her parents ahead of time that this would be his first attempt at this sort of surgery. Instead, he said that he had often done surgery of this type in the past. We filed a medical malpractice claim against the plastic surgeon, and a jury rendered an award of over $3 million on behalf of the girl.

    Million-plus recovery for improper prostate surgery

    A retired man from Altoona was mistakenly told that he had prostate cancer and underwent surgery for that “cancer” and ended up impotent. It turns out that the man did not have cancer, and the mistake occurred because the hospital mixed up a sample of his prostate with that of another patient. If the mix-up had not occurred, the man would have never undergone the surgery for cancer that he never had. As a result of our medical malpractice claim, we obtained a significant recovery in excess of a million dollars on behalf of this man and his wife.

    Large seven-figure award

    A newborn baby was undergoing an angiogram at a Pittsburgh hospital when a part of the tube used for the test broke off and became lodged in a blood vessel near the baby’s knee. This foreign object cut off blood supply to the rest of the leg, and the leg suffered gangrene and had to be amputated. By using a team of scientific and medical experts, we successfully sued the manufacturer of the tube on the ground that it was too brittle, and we also successfully proved that the doctor was using too much force in trying to push the tube in when he should have known there was problem, and thus, causing it to break. We obtained a large seven-figure award on behalf of the child and her parents.

    Million dollar recovery

    Failure to detect heart attack causing permanent heart damage

    Recovery for an unmarried, 57-year-old Bedford County truck driver against a hospital Emergency Room physician who failed to detect that he was having a heart attack. The heart problem was eventually detected several hours later by another doctor but by that time the patient had suffered more extensive damage to his heart muscle and, as a result, he was left with permanent cardiac problems.
     
    This man came into the Emergency Room with complaints of sudden onset of chest pain and other symptoms. An EKG was done which suggested that he may be having a heart attack, but the ER physician apparently did not see that test result or interpret it correctly. When a second doctor detected the heart attack, the patient was sent for an emergency catheterization and stent to open up a blocked cardiac blood vessel. If the heart attack had been discovered sooner and the stent done much earlier, he would not have suffered as much heart muscle damage. This man also was at risk for sudden cardiac death in the future and, therefore, he had to undergo surgery for the placement of an internal cardiac defibrillator.
     
    When a patient is having a heart attack, it is important that the diagnosis be made as soon as possible. Most heart attacks are caused by a blockage in one of the cardiac blood vessels, and one of the main ways to treat that problem is to immediately perform a cardiac catheterization so that the blocked artery can be opened either with an inflatable balloon or a small stent in order to re-establish blood flow. When blood flow is blocked, the heart muscle located “down stream” from the blockage can suffer permanent damage.
     
    As a result of his heart condition, our client was unable to return to his regular work as a truck driver. He was also suffering from chronic fatigue and shortness of breath which caused him problems in going about his daily activities at home. Therefore, the claim for damages included not only the loss of wages due to his not being able to return to work but also for the change in his lifestyle because of his chronic fatigue.
     
    This was a classic Emergency Room medical malpractice case. While some medical malpractice cases involve a doctor who fails to order the right test, in this situation, the right test was ordered (an EKG), but the doctor did not pay attention to the test results.

    Million dollar recovery for failure to recognize coronary artery disease

    An Altoona husband and father of two young children went to see his cardiologist complaining about chest pain, but the doctor dismissed the complaints as nothing unusual. Several days later, the man suffered a fatal heart attack after playing basketball. It was determined that he had coronary artery disease all along, and if the doctor had investigated properly, he would have discovered it and could have treated the blocked arteries with a stent or coronary bypass surgery. Either procedure would have prevented the death of this man. A award in excess of a million dollars was obtained for the widow and her two young children, both of whom had their college educations secured with the payment.

    Recoveries totaling in excess of a million dollars

    A Pittsburgh husband and wife along with their three daughters suffered serious injuries when their conversion van rolled over in a highway accident, and the roof of the van came off, thereby causing all of the occupants to be ejected. We filed claims against the driver who caused the accident as well as the maker of the van, General Motors, and the “conversion” company that customized the van and put the defective roof in place. After a lengthy litigation, recoveries totaling in excess of a million dollars were obtained on behalf of the family and, in particular, the 14-year-old daughter who was the most seriously injured of the group.

    Recovery in excess of $1 million

    A coal miner from western Pennsylvania was fatally injured in an underground mining accident involving a conveyor belt. Attorneys from Gismondi & Associates filed a product liability claim against the manufacturer of the conveyor belt and were able to establish that the equipment did not come with proper operating instructions and warnings. Our attorneys obtained a recovery in excess of $1 million on behalf of this man’s widow.

    A million dollar recovery

    Esophageal Perforation Case

    An Erie husband and father experienced a ruptured esophagus. The rupture was demonstrated on a chest X-ray, but the doctor did not see it. As a result, gastric chemicals, which are very corrosive and irritating, leaked into the patient’s chest for more than a day and caused significant damage to internal tissue. The patient eventually suffered a rupture aorta, which had to be repaired on an emergency basis. Although he survived the ordeal, this man underwent several surgeries of a life-threatening nature, and he was in the hospital for almost four consecutive months. He now suffers from chronic fatigue and pain in his torso from the multiple surgeries.
     
    Unfortunately, we have been involved in several cases involving mistakes in reading radiology tests such as X-rays, CT scans and MRIs. This case involved a simple X-ray that showed a serious condition, an esophageal perforation, that was “missed” by the doctor who was reading the X-ray. A few days later, a second doctor happened to take a look at the X-ray and saw the problem, however, by that time the esophageal perforation had gotten much worse to the point that it could not be surgically repaired. The other issue that sometimes comes up in radiology cases is that the radiology department does not send the test results to the doctors taking care of the patient and that too can lead to a delay in a patient getting the treatment that he or she needs.
     
    One of the biggest parts of the damages in this case was pain and suffering. This man spent months and months in the hospital with his wife by his side. It was a physically and emotionally draining ordeal, and that is the essence of “pain and suffering” compensation.
     
    This plaintiff was self-employed in a small manufacturing business, and that made the claim for lost wages or “diminished earning capacity” a little more difficult to prove. Any time you are dealing with a self-employed person, there are always questions about what their true earnings are. In this case, we were able to show prior revenues of the business to help establish a baseline of earning potential. Nevertheless, it is still more difficult projecting wage loss than, for example, a person who is a straight hourly wage employee.
     
    Another aspect of damages in this case was the loss of household services. The plaintiff-husband had been pretty handy around the house and was able to do a great many things to maintain the home. After his injury, however he was limited physically in the sort of work that he could do, particularly any heavy lifting or sustained standing and that, in turn, limited what he could do around the house. Lost household services are a potential claim in any injury or wrongful death case. Sometimes you have to rely on an expert witness to project what the value of those services are.

    Large seven-figure recovery for improper surgery causing impotence

    A professional man from Pittsburgh underwent a prostate biopsy and was told that he had prostate cancer and needed surgery. He underwent the surgery which, unfortunately, made him impotent. Ten days after surgery, he was told that the hospital had made a mistake and had mixed up his biopsy specimen with that of another patient, and that he never had cancer! Because of the needless surgery, the patient was made impotent for life. We filed a medical malpractice claim and obtained a large seven-figure recovery for this unfortunate man.

    Recovery in excess of $1 million

    A coal miner from western Pennsylvania was fatally injured in an underground mining accident involving a conveyor belt. Attorneys from Gismondi & Associates filed a product liability claim against the manufacturer of the conveyor belt and were able to establish that the equipment did not come with proper operating instructions and warnings. Our attorneys obtained a recovery in excess of $1 million on behalf of this man’s widow.

    Recovery well in excess of a million dollars

    An elderly couple from near DuBois, Pennsylvania, died as a result of a gas explosion at their home. We were able to prove that the explosion was caused by a gas line that had not been repaired for several years. We obtained a recovery well in excess of a million dollars in a claim against the gas company.

    Million-plus recovery for improperly interpreted stress test

    A husband and father from Altoona suffered a fatal heart attack because his doctor failed to discover that he was suffering from coronary artery disease. This man had undergone stress thallion testing several weeks before his death, but those tests were incorrectly interpreted as normal. In truth, the tests were abnormal, and the man should have been sent for placement of a cardiac stent or bypass surgery. If that had been done, he would have avoided the fatal heart attack. We obtained a very significant recovery in excess of one million dollars on behalf of this man’s widow.

    Maximum seven-figure recovery

    A retired man from Erie contracted AIDS as a result of a tainted blood transfusion that he received from Hamot Hospital in Erie during a routine surgical procedure. Tragically, the man died from AIDS. A claim was filed against the hospital on the ground that they gave the patient blood, which they knew had not been tested for the AIDS virus even though they had other blood available for the patient, which had been tested and found to be safe. This was one of the first AIDS transfusion cases filed in the United States, and we obtained a maximum seven-figure recovery on behalf of this unfortunate man’s widow.

    Significant recovery in excess of a million dollars

    A traveling salesman from Pittsburgh suffered serious burns when a propane tank on a travel trailer exploded. We filed a claim against the company that sold the trailer on the ground that they had inadequate warnings about how to guard against leaks in the propane system. A significant recovery in excess of a million dollars was obtained on behalf of this gentleman.

    Multimillion Dollar Recovery for Death of a Man Who Suffered Severe Brain Damage During Cardiopulmonary Bypass for Mitral Valve Surgery

    Wrongful Death During Cardiopulmonary Bypass for Mitral Valve Surgery

    This previously healthy unmarried, 34-year-old man went into the hospital for mitral valve repair. Most mitral valve surgeries require that the patient go on cardiopulmonary bypass, using a heart-lung machine so the heart can be stopped and safely operated on. This procedure essentially involves shutting down the heart and diverting the blood circulation to a machine which infuses the blood with oxygen (just as our lungs would do) and then pumps it to the body (Just as the heart would do) beyond the location of the surgery. Safe and effective performance of cardiopulmonary bypass requires constant communication and coordination between the surgeon, the anesthesiologist and the perfusionist who runs the heart bypass machine. In this case, the mitral valve surgery itself was successful but, sadly, the patient did not wake up after surgery. A CT scan of the brain done the following day showed that the patient had suffered significant brain damage during the surgery, and as a result he died three days later.
     
    After consultation with a team of experts including cardiothoracic surgeons, anesthesiologists, and perfusionists, we were able to present a successful claim on behalf of the young man’s parents. The claim included economic loss since the man was employed as a service technician for a security company, and it also included the parents’ loss of the relationship with their son.

    Jury verdict of $1.8 million

    Delayed diagnosis of cauda equina causing lasting injuries

    Recovery for a Butler County man who suffered a delay in diagnosing cauda equina syndrome. This is a condition in which a ruptured disk presses on the bottom of the spinal cord and, if not detected, can cause paralysis of the legs. Unfortunately, that is what happened to this man in his mid-30s. He had symptoms suggesting that there might be something compressing his spinal cord, but there was a delay in getting a CT scan or MRI in order to discover it.
     
    As with most cauda equina cases, the focus of the debate in this case was on a delay in obtaining a CT scan or an MRI. Cauda equina is usually caused by a bulging disk that compresses the strand of nerves that starts at the bottom of the spinal cord. The best way to diagnose this condition is with an MRI. The problem in this case, as with most cauda equina cases, is that there is a delay in getting the MRI, and the longer the disk compresses on that strand of nerves, the more likely the patient is going to have permanent neurologic harm. In this case, the patient had some of the tell-tale early signs of cauda equina such as back pain, numbness to both legs, and abnormal bladder function.
     
    Part of the reason for the delay in this case was miscommunication between the emergency room physician and the patient’s family physician. There was some disagreement among them as to who should have been responsible for getting the MRI. Those sorts of miscommunication, however, should not happen in the hospital. Also, there was some disagreement between the family doctor and the nursing staff as to whether they had informed the doctor that the patient’s neurologic condition was deteriorating. By the time they got around to doing the MRI, it was too late. Emergency surgery was performed to relieve the pressure caused by the disk, but the patient by that time had permanent nerve damage and had lost most of the function of his legs.
     
    From a damage standpoint, this young man was pretty much homebound and had to use a wheelchair to get around. He needed a great deal of assistance with dressing and bathing and the like. As in most cases involving spinal cord injury and paraplegia, we hired an expert to prepare a “life care plan,” which is a projection of all of the future medical and related needs that the patient is going to have and how much they will cost. Typical things included in the life care plan include the cost of attendant care at home or in a nursing facility; cost to rehabilitate the home to make it handicap accessible; medication costs; future medical visits; wheelchair expenses; and transportation costs such as a specialized vehicle or van with hand controls or wheelchair lift.

    Recovery in Excess of a Million Dollars

    A newborn child from Pittsburgh suffered a moderate brain injury as a result of a vacuum extractor, which was used to deliver the child during the birthing process at a Pittsburgh hospital. As a result of the brain injury, the child’s coordination, memory and cognitive function were disturbed. We filed a claim arguing that the obstetrician who used the vacuum extractor and exerted far too much pressure on it, thus leading to the injury. We obtained a recovery in excess of a million dollars on behalf of this child.

    Significant seven-figure award

    A nine-year-old boy from Uniontown, Fayette County, underwent a simple surgery to remove his tonsils, but the doctor did not perform the surgery properly and caused damage to certain blood vessels. Two days later, while at the child was at home, those blood vessels burst, and the child nearly bled to death on the kitchen floor of his home. Although the paramedics were able to save his life, he lost so much blood that he suffered permanent brain damage and is now a quadriplegic, unable to speak, and must be fed through a tube. A significant, seven-figure award — representing the maximum available insurance — was obtained for this child and placed in trust to take care of his future needs.

    Large seven-figure recovery

    A professional man from Pittsburgh underwent a prostate biopsy and was told that he had prostate cancer and needed surgery. He underwent the surgery which, unfortunately, made him impotent. Ten days after the surgery, he was told that the hospital had made a mistake and had mixed up his biopsy specimen with that of another patient, and that he never had cancer! Because of the needless surgery, the patient was made impotent for life. We filed a medical malpractice claim and obtained a large seven-figure recovery for this unfortunate man.

    Recovery in Excess of $1 Million Dollars

    A young woman from Steubenville, Ohio, was broad-sided by a truck when driving on an errand with her two small children. She suffered extensive injuries to her chest, abdomen and legs, including fractured ribs, broken vertebrae, fractured tibia, fractured femur and serious scarring to her lower leg. She was in the hospital for more than three weeks recovering from her injuries. We retained a recovery in excess of $1 million for her.

    Recovery in Excess of $1 Million Dollars

    A young college student from Uniontown, Fayette County, was returning to Penn State on Route 22 when a coal truck crossed the center line and hit her vehicle. She suffered serious lower leg injuries and had an extended hospitalization with months of rehabilitation. We obtained a recovery in excess of $1 million for her.

    Recovery in Excess of $1 Million Dollars

    A young man from Greene County suffered serious traumatic brain injuries as a result of a motor vehicle accident in Washington County. Although he survived, he developed many long-term problems as a result of the brain injury. We filed a personal injury claim against the other driver and made a recovery in excess of $1 million on his behalf.

    Recovery in Excess of $1 Million

    A man from Ambridge, Beaver County, serving in the military suffered serious brain injuries while riding as a passenger in a vehicle driven by another member of the military. We filed a federal tort claim against the driver of the vehicle, and we were able to avoid application of the Feres Doctrine, which usually prevents lawsuits against persons on active duty in the military by showing that this accident happened on personal leave time. We obtained a recovery in excess of $1 million as compensation for his traumatic brain injury.

    Recovery of nearly $1 million

    A young single male from Pittsburgh was killed as a result of a sudden oil leak, which occurred while he was operating his Honda motorcycle near Frick Park in Pittsburgh. The leaking oil sprayed on his rear tire and caused the driver to lose control and strike a telephone pole. The attorneys at Gismondi & Associates filed a product liability claim against Honda on the ground that the “O” rings for their oil filters were not properly designed and had a propensity to come loose. In this personal injury lawsuit, we obtained a recovery of nearly $1 million on behalf of this young man’s parents.

    Large seven-figure recovery

    A Pittsburgh man from Brighton Heights was a passenger in a car driven by a drunk friend as they left Three Rivers Stadium after a Pirate baseball game. The drunk driver crashed the car and caused his passenger to be rendered a quadriplegic as a result of a severe brain injury. We filed a claim against the concession company at Three Rivers Stadium that sold the alcohol to the patron at the baseball game who was intoxicated. The company argued that there was no way for the people at the concession stand to know that the patron was intoxicated, but we eventually obtained a large seven-figure recovery on behalf of this gentleman.

    Seven-Figure Verdict for Death Caused by Aspiration

    A 51-year-old woman who lived in the Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh and was married to a local doctor underwent gastric bypass surgery. After being discharged to her home, she return to the hospital a few days later because of a bowel obstruction. While undergoing surgery to treat the bowel obstruction, the anesthesiologist did not properly insert the breathing tube (called an endotracheal tube), and the patient ended up with aspiration pneumonia and died several days later. She left two sons under the age of 10. We filed a medical malpractice and wrongful death claim and obtained a multi-million dollar recovery against Shadyside Hospital and the anesthesiologist.

    A million-dollar recovery

    Truck Accident On Interstate 80

    A million-dollar recovery for the husband of a young woman who was killed in a truck accident on Interstate 80. The weather was bad and the truck driver was going too fast for conditions when he slammed into the rear of one car and then crossed the center line and crashed into the car occupied by our client.
     
    One of the big differences between trucking accidents and regular car accidents is that there is usually much more information available about the truck and the driver than in regular automobile cases. This case was no different. This truck was equipped with a GPS system that not only tracked the route of the truck but also provided valuable information concerning operational details such as its speed and braking in the minutes before the accident. It is always critical in a trucking case to find out early on if that sort of data exists. Other information that was important in this case was the driver’s log information. Even before the days of computers, trucking companies and drivers were required to keep a handwritten log as to how much time they spend behind the wheel because there are federal regulations, which limit how many hours they can be on the road. In this case, the state trooper who came to the scene of the accident seized the log and cited the driver for exceeding the allowable number of driving hours. Obviously, this raised the question of whether the driver was sleepy at the time of the accident. Lo and behold, when we got involved in the case and took the deposition of the driver, the pages of the log covering the day of the accident were missing! The trucking company claimed that the state police were in possession of the log immediately after the accident and when they got the log back, the pages were missing. The state police, of course, claimed that they never removed any pages of the log. The pages never were found, but we were still able to rely on the issuance of the citation to establish that the driver had violated federal regulations on driving limits.
     
    Trucking companies are also required to keep detailed records on the driving history of their truck drivers. In this case, the record revealed that the driver involved in the accident had multiple moving violations for speeding in recent years. According to company regulations, he was supposed to be sent for re-training because of his many violations but that never occurred. Also, when we took the deposition of the trucking company’s safety manager, he was unfamiliar with the number of moving violations the driver had. All of this evidence helped to show that the trucking company itself was careless in the way they were monitoring their own drivers. That is an important point to remember in trucking cases, i.e., it is not enough to focus just on the driver of the truck as being the “at-fault” party, you also have to look at the company that employed him.

    Seven-figure recovery

    Lung Cancer Case Example

    A Pittsburgh resident in his late 50s died as a result of a delay in diagnosing lung cancer. The cancer was first “missed” on a CT scan done in early 2012 at a private hospital, and then in 2013 at a Veterans Hospital in the Pittsburgh area. The patient had a chest x-ray which was suspicious for possible cancer, and it was recommended that a CT scan be performed, but someone at the hospital “dropped the ball,” and the CT was never scheduled until more than a year later. By that time, the tumor had doubled in size.
     
    In most lung cancer cases the first sign that something may be wrong is a respiratory complaint from the patient, usually shortness of breath or a cough that will not go away. The investigation for lung cancer typically starts with a chest x-ray, but an even better test is a CT scan of the chest. Modern CT scans are able to detect lung tumors as small as 1 mm in size. In this gentleman’s case, the tumor had grown much larger than that by the time it was discovered. Unfortunately, the late discovery deprived him of the opportunity for a cure, and he died in 2015.
     
    Although the patient was no longer working, he was drawing Social Security and was also handy around the house. In a case involving wrongful death of a patient such as this, we claimed damages for loss of Social Security income and the value of household services. In addition, he had a very loving wife of several years, and an important part of the claim was for the loss of her relationship with her husband, the legal term for that being “loss of consortium.”
     
    Eventually, we were able to achieve a recovery in excess of seven figures with both the VA hospital and the private hospital contributing to the settlement.

    Seven-Figure Recovery in Post-Tonsillectomy Bleed

    Post-Tonsillectomy Bleed Case

    A man in his mid-30s died from severe bleeding that occurred one week after he underwent a routine tonsillectomy which was performed because of snoring and enlarged tonsils (tonsillar hypertrophy). It appears that the surgeon caused some damage to one of the main blood vessels as he was removing the tonsils, and that damage caused the wall of the blood vessel to deteriorate over the next several days until it finally “blew out” on the date of death. The injury to the blood vessel was likely caused by electrocautery used to cut tissue during the surgery. This man was survived by his wife, but they had no children.
     
    Most people think of a tonsillectomy as being a very simple surgery, but it actually carries serious risks, one of the main ones being precisely the sort of bleeding that occurred in this case. We offered two primary arguments against the surgeon. First, it was our contention that the tonsillectomy never should have been done because snoring is not a good enough reason to subject a patient to a tonsillectomy until you have first tried other less drastic treatments. Second, we argued that the doctor should have been more careful in how he was using the electrocautery in order to make sure that he did not injure surrounding blood vessels.
     
    This man was employed full-time as a steelworker in western Pennsylvania and, therefore, our claim included certain of his future wages that would have been used to support his wife. Also, as in any wrongful death case involving a surviving spouse, the wife was entitled to claim damages for the loss of her relationship with her husband, the legal term being “loss of consortium.” This would be considered a medical malpractice case as a result of a surgical error.

    Seven-figure recovery

    Gastrostomy Tube Wrongful Death Case

    Seven-figure recovery for the parents of a Beaver County child who suffered brain injury and died as a result of an air embolus that occurred during placement of a gastrostomy tube. Outside air is never supposed to enter tubes used during surgery.
     
    This child was born with several congenital problems in her digestive tract, and they were operating on her to try to insert a feeding tube (gastrostomy) when the cardiac arrest occurred. Sometimes a cardiac arrest can occur due to no one’s fault, so the challenge for us was to prove that this cardiac arrest happened as a result of some mistake by the hospital staff. This became quite a challenge because the hospital records did not say what caused the child’s cardiac arrest. Therefore, we hired our own team of experts to review all of the records.
     
    After very careful study, they concluded that the only logical explanation for the child’s sudden cardiac arrest was that air must have entered an IV line or other tube attached to the patient. While we could not explain exactly “how” the air got into the line, that did not matter because we could still prove our case under a legal term called res ipsa loquitur. That is a Latin phrase, which means “The thing speaks for itself,” and it means that you can win the case just by showing that something normally would not happen unless someone was careless even though you cannot explain exactly how it happened. In this case, even the hospital agreed that outside air is never supposed to get inside a line and, therefore, if that happened, they were at fault. However, the hospital claimed that air actually never did get into the line. We disagreed, and our proof was strong enough to induce the hospital to settle this case.
     
    Sadly, the child went on to die about a year after the cardiac arrest and resulting brain damage. One of the challenges in the case that we faced is that even without this cardiac arrest and brain damage, this child likely had a shortened life expectancy because of her other problems. Nevertheless, the parents were entitled to be compensated for the loss of their child.
     
    Cases involving the death of a young child, oddly enough, present problems in trying to prove damages. For example, one of the main elements of damages in most death cases is a claim for future wages that a person would have earned. However, when you are talking about an infant with “no track record” of work or no school record from which to project what their career path might have been, it is very speculative to talk about future earnings, and that is something the defense always emphasizes. If the child is only a few months old when he or she dies, strange as it may sound, the defense will suggest that the impact on the parents, significant as it may be, is not as significant as that experienced by parents who have a child and bond with him or her for 10 to 15 years. We dispute that argument every time and emphasize that the loss of any child, however old, is significant to a parent.

    Seven-figure recovery

    Liposuction Surgery Case Result

    Seven-figure recovery for the husband of a 66-year-old woman who died two days after a liposuction procedure done at a Monroeville, PA, hospital. The instrument used during the liposuction had apparently gone too deep and caused internal bleeding, which eventually led to the woman’s death a few days later.
     
    Even the most simple surgeries carry the risk of injury if the doctor is not careful. A liposuction surgery involves the insert of a long rod called a cannula into the fat layer of the belly, which is located right under the skin. The cannula uses suction to extract fat from the area. During a typical liposuction, the cannula is inserted in several different locations and fat removed, all for the purpose of re-shaping or contouring the abdomen. It is a cardinal rule in a liposuction procedure that the cannula should not penetrate below the fat layer into the muscle layer or beyond into the peritoneal cavity where the stomach and intestine are located. In this case, unfortunately, that is exactly what happened. It was discovered at autopsy that there were multiple penetrations through the muscle layer and even some nicks and cuts on the stomach and intestines. Apparently, the doctor had simply gone too deep and at too sharp of an angle when he was manipulating the cannula.
     
    The surgeon had no explanation for how the cannula got so deep, but he agreed that it should never get to the muscle layer or beyond as happened in this case. In a case such as this, the legal principle of res ipsa loquitur would apply. The words “res ipsa loquitur” are a Latin phrase, which means “The thing speaks for itself.” In a legal context, it means that if you can show that something usually would not happen unless someone was careless, you can win the case even though you cannot explain exactly how it happened. Thus, in this case, although we could not prove exactly how or why the cannula got so deep, we could win the case just by establishing that a cannula would usually never go into the muscle layer or beyond unless the doctor did something wrong, i.e., he pushed too hard; was not paying attention; etc.
     
    This woman was survived by a loving husband of some 40 years, a husband who had recently stopped working and was looking forward to spending his retirement years with his long-time spouse. The couple also had two adult daughters who were very close to their mother. Although she was not a wage-earner, a major part of the wrongful death damages in this case were the husband’s claim for the loss of “society and companionship” of his wife. They enjoyed a very close relationship for decades and now he was left on his own and missed his wife terribly. Insurance companies try to minimize the value of claims when you do not have evidence of income loss or medical bills, so-called special damages, but we emphasized what is known as the general damages, i.e., loss of companionship suffered by the husband in this wrongful death case.

    Seven-figure recovery

    Wrongful Death Due to Toxic Side Effects of Amiodarone

    Seven-figure recovery for the family of a Blair County man who died due to the toxic side effects of the drug Amiodarone that was being given to treat a cardiac condition. The doctors failed to check his lab work to detect that the drug was having a toxic effect on his liver.
     
    Amiodarone is a common drug used to treat atrial fibrillation, and it is very effective at doing so. However, it can in certain patients be toxic to the liver. Therefore, it is important that the patient’s doctor take regular blood samples to make sure that the liver is not being damaged. The doctor gauges that by following what are called “liver function tests” (LFTs). If the LFTs get too high, the doctor will have to “tweak” the dose of Amiodarone. If the doctor does not, he or she runs the risk of causing permanent harm to the patient.
     
    In this case, the doctor was not “tracking” the Amiodarone close enough. In other words, he went too long a period of time in between blood tests, and when he finally got around to taking them, they were very elevated and the liver was permanently damaged. As a result, the patient’s liver condition deteriorated rather quickly over the course of a few months, and he died before a transplant could be arranged.
     
    This man left behind a wife of several years and children. As in any wrongful death case involving a spouse and children, there were several aspects to the damage claim. First, this man was nearing retirement age, but there was still some future wage loss that we could claim. The biggest part of the damages, however, was the wife’s loss of the society and companionship of her husband of many years. That is always something that is difficult for a jury to put a price on, but we still emphasize that it is a significant item of loss. Likewise, even grown children who lose their parents suffer some loss as well.

    Seven-figure recovery

    Meningioma Case Result

    Seven-figure recovery for the husband of a woman who experienced a delay in diagnosing a benign brain tumor known as a meningioma. While this type of tumor is not cancerous, as it grows, it can cause brain swelling and lead to other problems. In this particular case, the benign tumor was shown on a CT of the brain several years earlier, but the family doctor in Monroeville, PA, failed to order follow-up CT scans to “track” its growth. As a result, the tumor continued to grow but that was not discovered until several years later, and by that time, her only option was to have a risky and very extensive brain surgery. Had the patient been referred to a surgeon when the meningioma was smaller, she could have had a much less invasive procedure with less risk of postoperative bleeding and brain swelling.
     
    When people think of brain tumors, they usually think of cancer, but even benign tumors, such as a meningioma, can present problems if they grow too large. If they stay small, they usually present no problem, and there is no reason to subject a patient to delicate brain surgery to remove them. However, when benign tumors get too large, they can start to press on parts of the brain that control important functions such as eyesight, speech and other things, and when that happens then the meningioma or other benign tumor needs to be removed.
     
    In this case, the tumor was growing, but the doctor was not “tracking” its growth with regular CT scans. Once the doctor finally ordered a follow-up CT scan, there was also a question of whether it was properly interpreted by the radiologist. If the growth of the meningioma had been discovered sooner, there was a good chance that it could have been removed with a far less-invasive and dangerous surgery. Unfortunately, this patient had no choice but to undergo the more dangerous surgery and, sadly, she suffered complications as a result of the extent of the surgery, complications that eventually led to her death.
     
    In cases like this, it is important that the radiologist and the patient’s private doctor, “be on the same page.” In other words, the private doctor has to order periodic CT scans to check to see whether the benign tumor is growing, and then once the private doctor orders a CT scan, it is the responsibility of the radiologist to read it correctly and make sure that the physician is made aware if the tumor has grown. The two doctors have to work in concert with one another. That did not happen in this case.
     
    In our case, the wife had a modest work history so there was a modest wage loss as part of the wrongful death damages, but the major part of the damage claim was the husband’s loss of the relationship of his wife of many years. In wrongful death cases, we refer to that as loss of “society and companionship,” which is a significant item when, as in this case, the husband and wife have a long-time and close relationship of many years duration.

    Seven-figure recovery in the death of an infant

    Home Health Nurse Failed to Monitor Ventilator

    Seven-figure recovery – A infant who was born several weeks prematurely died at home when his ventilator (breathing machine) became disconnected but the home health nurse who was watching him failed to discover this and reconnect the equipment. After being in the hospital for a matter of months after birth, the child was finally able to come home but had to be connected to a ventilator most of the day to support his breathing. The breathing tube ran from the machine through a tracheotomy (an opening in the infant’s windpipe). On the evening in question, the child was sleeping but then suddenly the breathing tube became dislodged from the trachea. The home health nurse who was sitting with the child did not discover that the tube was dislodged and the child died.
     
    Home health nurses are usually employed by agencies, and one of the big questions in those sorts of cases is whether the nurse has adequate training to take care of the type of patient to whom they are being assigned. There was some question in this case as to whether this nurse had adequate experience with the ventilator in order to appreciate the problem when it developed. For that reason, our claim was not only against the nurse but also the agency which employed her.
     
    One of the challenges in this case was to overcome the argument that this was not a normal healthy child to begin with and not a child that had a long life expectancy because of several problems related to his prematurity. Premature children often have many medical problems after birth but as medical science improves, doctors have become more and more successful in nurturing “preemies” to a point that they can enjoy a more normal lifestyle. That was certainly the argument we made in this case.

    Jury Verdict in excess $7 Million Dollars

    A Canonsburg, Washington County, auto parts salesman was fatally injured in an automobile accident that occurred near Bridgeville, Allegheny County, when a car being driven at an excessive speed crossed the center line and caused the fatal collision. A jury in Allegheny County awarded his wife and two children an amount in excess of $7 million, including the largest punitive damage award ever entered against a single individual in the state of Pennsylvania.

    Recovery in excess of $1 million

    A man from Beaver County serving in the military suffered serious brain injuries while riding as a passenger in a motor vehicle driven by another member of the military. We filed a federal tort claim against the driver of the vehicle, and we were able to avoid application of the Feres Doctrine, which usually prevents lawsuits against persons on active duty in the military by showing that this accident happened on personal leave time. We obtained a recovery in excess of $1 million as compensation for his traumatic brain injury.

    Seven-figure recovery

    Lung Cancer Case Example

    A Pittsburgh resident in his late 50s died as a result of a delay in diagnosing lung cancer. The cancer was first “missed” on a CT scan done in early 2012 at a private hospital, and then in 2013 at a Veterans Hospital in the Pittsburgh area. The patient had a chest x-ray which was suspicious for possible cancer, and it was recommended that a CT scan be performed, but someone at the hospital “dropped the ball,” and the CT was never scheduled until more than a year later. By that time, the tumor had doubled in size.
     
    In most lung cancer cases the first sign that something may be wrong is a respiratory complaint from the patient, usually shortness of breath or a cough that will not go away. The investigation for lung cancer typically starts with a chest x-ray, but an even better test is a CT scan of the chest. Modern CT scans are able to detect lung tumors as small as 1 mm in size. In this gentleman’s case, the tumor had grown much larger than that by the time it was discovered. Unfortunately, the late discovery deprived him of the opportunity for a cure, and he died in 2015.
     
    Although the patient was no longer working, he was drawing Social Security and was also handy around the house. In a case involving wrongful death of a patient such as this, we claimed damages for loss of Social Security income and the value of household services. In addition, he had a very loving wife of several years, and an important part of the claim was for the loss of her relationship with her husband, the legal term for that being “loss of consortium.”
     
    Eventually, we were able to achieve a recovery in excess of seven figures with both the VA hospital and the private hospital contributing to the settlement.

    Million Dollar Award

    A young expectant mother from Pittsburgh’s North Hills went into a Pittsburgh hospital in labor. Signs of fetal distress soon developed, but the physician in attendance delayed in doing an emergency C-section. As a result of the fetal distress and delayed delivery, this young child suffered a permanent kidney damage. We obtained a million dollar award, which will provide financial stability for this child for the rest of her life.

    Award in excess of a million dollars

    A 54-year-old nurse from Uniontown, Fayette County, experienced a two-year delay in diagnosing lung cancer because a radiologist at a hospital in Connellsville, Fayette County, “missed” an obvious spot on her lung that should have been seen on a CT scan. Because of the delay, what started out as a small tumor that could have been successfully treated turned into something that could not be cured. The patient endured months and months of very agonizing chemotherapy but eventually lost her battle with cancer. We proved that the radiologist should have seen the cancer. We proved that the radiologist should have seen the cancer in the beginning, and we were able to obtain an an award in excess of a million dollars for the nurse’s two adult daughters.

    Large award in excess of a million dollars

    A husband from Allegheny County and a teacher at a community college died from a delay in diagnosing a pulmonary embolus that was not discovered while he was a patient at a Pittsburgh hospital following abdominal surgery. We filed a legal claim against the doctors and nurses claiming that there were clear warning signs that this patient was developing blood clots in his legs and that if earlier tests such as an ultrasound had been done, the clots would have been discovered before they broke off and went to his lungs and caused the man’s sudden death. We received a large award in excess of a million dollars on behalf of his widow and daughter.

    Recovery in excess of $1 million

    A young woman from Greensburg, Westmoreland County, died from an infection known as Clostridium difficile, which developed shortly after the delivery of her second child. The mother had returned to her obstetrician’s office a few days after delivery with various complaints indicating that she may have a uterine infection, but the doctor delayed in putting her in the hospital and giving her antibiotics. As a result, by the time she presented to the emergency room, she was near death and no treatment could save her. We filed a wrongful death claim against the doctor for not hospitalizing the patient and providing necessary antibiotic treatment. We received a recovery in excess of $1 million for the husband and surviving children of this young woman.

    Recovery in excess of a million dollars

    A married mother of two from Pittsburgh suffered serious bleeding during a hysterectomy. The bleeding was so severe that she died from it. The hospital argued that part of the reason the patient died is that she was a Jehovah Witness and would not accept a blood transfusion, but we successfully argued a surgical error caused the bleeding in the first place. A recovery in excess of a million dollars was obtained on behalf of the husband and two children.

    Significant seven-figure recovery

    A husband and father from Altoona died as a result of a delay in treating an abdominal aortic aneurysm. An aneurysm is an abnormal weakening in the wall of the blood vessel. If the aneurysm grows, it needs to be treated, otherwise it will rupture. This gentleman’s aneurysm was not watched closely enough and, as a result, it went on to rupture and cause his death. He should have been referred for surgery long before the rupture occurred. We obtained a significant seven-figure recovery on behalf of his widow and children as a result of a medical malpractice and wrongful death claim filed against the cardiologist.

    Million-dollar settlement

    A middle-aged housewife from Beaver County died as a result of a severe blood infection (sepsis), which developed after she underwent surgery to remove a kidney stone. We filed a medical malpractice claim against the surgeon on the ground that he failed to check the patient’s urine before doing the kidney stone removal, and had he checked the urine, he would have discovered that the patient already had a urinary tract infection when she entered the hospital. Therefore, the surgery should have either been canceled or she should have been put on antibiotics before going to the operating room. We obtained a million-dollar settlement on behalf of her widowed husband.

    Recovery in excess of a million dollars

    A young lady from Washington, Pennsylvania, was seriously injured while riding on the back of a motorcycle that was struck by a drunk driver near Washington. The young lady suffered serious head injuries and facial scarring. Claims were filed against the drunk driver and the restaurant that had served him under liquor liability laws. After extensive litigation, a recovery in excess of a million dollars was obtained for this young woman.

    Recovery well in excess of a million dollars

    A retiree from Shaler went into the ER at a North Hills hospital after falling at home and hitting his head. An X-ray and CT scan was taken of his neck in the emergency room, and he was told everything was fine and sent home. Within a few hours of leaving the hospital, he was a paraplegic. The doctors in the ER had failed to see that he had an unstable fracture of his cervical spine, and by permitting him to walk out of the hospital, the fracture shifted and caused a permanent spinal cord injury. His wife had to quit her job, and she now takes care of her husband at home on a full-time basis as he is wheelchair-bound. We obtained a recovery well in excess of a million dollars for our client and his wife.

    Large seven-figure recovery

    An insurance salesman from Sewickley underwent surgery for a bad heart valve. The surgery went fine, but, unfortunately, two days later a doctor carelessly inserted a chest tube in the wrong place, and it lacerated his liver causing him to bleed to death. We filed a wrongful death claim and medical malpractice claim against the doctor, and a large seven-figure recovery was obtained on behalf of this man’s widow.

    Seven-figure recovery

    Failure to diagnose lung cancer in Sarcoidosis patient

    Recovery for a Washington County man whose 67-year-old wife died due to a delay in diagnosing lung cancer. This woman, who was not a smoker, had a long-standing inflammatory condition in her lungs known as Sarcoidosis. Therefore, when some abnormal growths/masses showed up on her chest x-ray, the doctor believed that it was simply an extension of her long-standing Sarcoidosis and, therefore, no biopsy of the mass was done. Some six years went by before the lung cancer was diagnosed, but by that time it had metastasized to other parts in the body and the condition was not curable.
     
    Lung cancer remains one of the most widespread cancers in the United States. With the sophistication and improvement in CT scans, suspicious lung nodules are now able to be seen at a much smaller size than 10-15 years ago. The debate in many lung cancer cases, however, is whether each one of those nodules requires further investigation. Usually, the next step after a CT scan is to perform a PET scan. This is a special test which measures the “uptake” of a special solution that is injected as part of the test, the theory being that cancer tissue tends to be very “hungry” for this liquid and, therefore, the uptake should be high if the nodule is cancerous. If the PET scan offers additional reasons for suspicion, the next step in investigating a pulmonary nodule is usually to perform a biopsy.
     
    In our case, a PET scan was done, but the results were not highly suspicious and, again, the doctor felt that a biopsy was not necessary because he believed that the patient was just experiencing expansion of her Sarcoidosis. Sadly, that turned out not to be the case. It was our contention that it was inappropriate for the doctor to just assume that the nodule was an extension of the Sarcoidosis, and a biopsy should have been done to be certain.
     
    The husband and wife in this case had been together for over 50 years going all the way back to high school. Therefore, there was a significant claim for loss of society and companionship, i.e., what the law refers to as “loss of consortium.” In fact, this made up the bulk of the damage claim in the case. In addition to the husband, the wife left behind two adult daughters with whom she was very, very close.

    Large million-dollar award

    Following the delivery of her child, a woman from northern Pennsylvania began developing blood clots in her leg (the medical term is deep venous thrombosis). Her obstetrician did not give her proper blood-thinning medication and, as a result, one of the clots in the leg broke off and caused a fatal pulmonary embolus. A significant million-dollar award was obtained for the widow of this woman and her young child.

    Seven-figure recovery

    Failure to diagnose lung cancer in veteran

    A Pittsburgh resident in his late 50s died as a result of a delay in diagnosing lung cancer. The cancer was first “missed” on a CT scan done in early 2012 at a private hospital, and then in 2013 at a Veterans Hospital in the Pittsburgh area. The patient had a chest x-ray which was suspicious for possible cancer, and it was recommended that a CT scan be performed, but someone at the hospital “dropped the ball,” and the CT was never scheduled until more than a year later. By that time, the tumor had doubled in size.
     
    In most lung cancer cases the first sign that something may be wrong is a respiratory complaint from the patient, usually shortness of breath or a cough that will not go away. The investigation for lung cancer typically starts with a chest x-ray, but an even better test is a CT scan of the chest. Modern CT scans are able to detect lung tumors as small as 1 mm in size. In this gentleman’s case, the tumor had grown much larger than that by the time it was discovered. Unfortunately, the late discovery deprived him of the opportunity for a cure, and he died in 2015.
     
    Although the patient was no longer working, he was drawing Social Security and was also handy around the house. In a case involving wrongful death of a patient such as this, we claimed damages for loss of Social Security income and the value of household services. In addition, he had a very loving wife of several years, and an important part of the claim was for the loss of her relationship with her husband, the legal term for that being “loss of consortium.”
     
    Eventually, we were able to achieve a recovery in excess of seven figures with both the VA hospital and the private hospital contributing to the settlement.

    Large six-figure recovery for family of young man

    A young man from Pittsburgh who suffered from diabetes developed coronary artery disease and then died of a heart attack. Several weeks prior to his death, medical tests were done which showed he probably had coronary artery disease, but nothing was done about it. He should have had a stent procedure or bypass surgery in order to avoid a fatal heart attack, but his doctor did not do that. A very significant six-figure settlement was obtained on behalf of his widow.

    Recoveries Totaling in Excess of a Million Dollars

    A husband and wife along with their three daughters suffered serious injuries when their conversion van rolled over in a highway accident, and the roof of the van came off, thereby causing all of the occupants to be ejected. We filed claims against the driver who caused the accident as well as the maker of the van, General Motors, and the “conversion” company, which customized the van and put the defective roof in place. After lengthy litigation, recoveries totaling in excess of a million dollars were obtained on behalf of the family, and in particular, the 14-year-old daughter who was the most seriously injured of the group.

    A million-dollar recovery

    Truck Accident On Interstate 80

    Recovery for the husband of a young woman who was killed in a truck accident on Interstate 80. The weather was bad and the truck driver was going too fast for conditions when he slammed into the rear of one car and then crossed the center line and crashed into the car occupied by our client.
     
    One of the big differences between trucking accidents and regular car accidents is that there is usually much more information available about the truck and the driver than in regular automobile cases. This case was no different. This truck was equipped with a GPS system that not only tracked the route of the truck but also provided valuable information concerning operational details such as its speed and braking in the minutes before the accident. It is always critical in a trucking case to find out early on if that sort of data exists. Other information that was important in this case was the driver’s log information. Even before the days of computers, trucking companies and drivers were required to keep a handwritten log as to how much time they spend behind the wheel because there are federal regulations, which limit how many hours they can be on the road. In this case, the state trooper who came to the scene of the accident seized the log and cited the driver for exceeding the allowable number of driving hours. Obviously, this raised the question of whether the driver was sleepy at the time of the accident. Lo and behold, when we got involved in the case and took the deposition of the driver, the pages of the log covering the day of the accident were missing! The trucking company claimed that the state police were in possession of the log immediately after the accident and when they got the log back, the pages were missing. The state police, of course, claimed that they never removed any pages of the log. The pages never were found, but we were still able to rely on the issuance of the citation to establish that the driver had violated federal regulations on driving limits.
     
    Trucking companies are also required to keep detailed records on the driving history of their truck drivers. In this case, the record revealed that the driver involved in the accident had multiple moving violations for speeding in recent years. According to company regulations, he was supposed to be sent for re-training because of his many violations but that never occurred. Also, when we took the deposition of the trucking company’s safety manager, he was unfamiliar with the number of moving violations the driver had. All of this evidence helped to show that the trucking company itself was careless in the way they were monitoring their own drivers. That is an important point to remember in trucking cases, i.e., it is not enough to focus just on the driver of the truck as being the “at-fault” party, you also have to look at the company that employed him.

    Seven-figure recovery for severe ankle fracture at work

    Work Site Injury at Heinz Field

    A woman in her 50s who worked at Heinz Field was struck at work by someone operating a golf cart during set up for a concert. The impact flipped the woman in the air and caused her to crash to the ground and severely fracture her ankle. The extent of the ankle fracture was such that the patient was in the hospital for two weeks and then was confined at home for four or five additional months.
     
    Despite a great deal of therapy, she went on to develop extensive post-traumatic arthritis and eventually she had to undergo an ankle replacement. Even two years after the accident, she was still only able to walk short distances with the aid of a cane. She will never return to her former job which involved a great deal of walking and standing. She is also quite limited in what she can do around the house.
     
    In this case, we claimed damages for the woman’s past pain and suffering, the loss of wages from her part-time job, and the future impact on her ability to do many of the daily activities she previously enjoyed. This case was a good illustration that even something as common as an ankle fracture can have very serious long-term effects and, therefore, be worthy of a recovery in excess of $1,000,000.

    Seven-figure settlement 

    A brick layer was struck in the head at a defective product claim and suffered fatal injuries, leaving a wife and two college-aged children. Through extensive investigation, we proved that there were dangerous conditions at the construction site, which should have been corrected, and we obtained a seven-figure settlement for the wife and her two children.

    Recovery in excess of a million dollars 

    An iron worker from Penn Hills, Allegheny County, was killed when the boom on a crane malfunctioned during a bridge repair. The crane had been supplied in poor working order by a crane rental company. A product liability claim was also filed against the crane manufacturer, JLG Industries . We obtained a recovery in excess of a million dollars on behalf of the widow of the iron worker.

    Recovery in excess of $1 million

    A coal miner from Johnstown, Cambria County, was fatally injured in an underground mining accident involving a conveyor belt. Attorneys from Gismondi & Associates filed a product liability claim against the manufacturer of the conveyor belt and were able to establish that the equipment did not come with proper operating instructions and warnings. Our attorneys obtained a recovery in excess of $1 million on behalf of this man’s widow.

    Significant seven-figure recovery

    An iron worker from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, suffered serious crush injuries and orthopedic fractures as a result of being hit by a large steel plate, which was knocked over by another workman operating a forklift at a job site. We filed a claim against the employer of the forklift operator and obtained a significant seven-figure recovery on behalf of this gentleman.

    Million-dollar recovery

    A nurse from New Kensington, Westmoreland County, suffered a severe lumbar ruptured disk when a chair that she was sitting in collapsed through a portion of a newly installed floor. Gismondi & Associates filed a personal injury action against the contractor who installed the floor, and we were able to establish that the floor was not properly constructed in the area where the accident occurred. This woman was no longer able to return to her career as a nurse. We obtained a million dollar recovery on her behalf.

    Significant seven-figure recovery

    A young lady from Washington, Pennsylvania, was seriously injured while riding on the back of a motorcycle that was struck by a drunk driver near Washington, PA. The young lady suffered serious head injuries and facial scarring. Claims were filed against the drunk driver and the restaurant that had served him under liquor liability laws. After extensive litigation, a recovery in excess of a million dollars was obtained for this young woman.

    Settlement in excess of $1 million

    A teenage girl from Pittsburgh with scoliosis underwent surgery to correct her spine. During the surgery, some misplaced surgical screws caused injury to the spinal cord, which led to a significant drop in the patient’s blood pressure during the operation. In addition to the surgical error, the problem was compounded because the anesthesia team monitoring the patient failed to adequately react to correct the abnormal blood pressure. Sadly, this young college student died a few hours after surgery. Wrongful death and medical malpractice claims were filed by her parents against the orthopedic surgeon and the anesthesia team involved in the case, and a settlement in excess of $1 million was obtained.

    Excess of a million dollars

    A traveling salesman from Pittsburgh suffered serious burns when a propane tank on a travel trailer exploded. We filed a claim against the company that sold the trailer on the ground that they had inadequate warnings about how to guard against leaks in the propane system. A significant recovery in excess of a million dollars was obtained on behalf of this gentleman.

    Excess of $1 million

    A young college student from Uniontown, Fayette County, was returning to Penn State on Route 22 when a broad-sided by a truck crossed the center line and hit her vehicle. She suffered serious lower leg injuries and had an extended hospitalization with months of rehabilitation. We obtained a recovery in excess of $1 million for her.

    Excess of $1 million

    A young woman from Steubenville, Ohio, was broad-sided by a truck when driving on an errand with her two small children. She suffered extensive injuries to her chest, abdomen and legs including fractured ribs, broken vertebrae, fractured tibia, fractured femur and serious scarring to her lower leg. She was in the hospital for more than three weeks recovering from her injuries. We retained a recovery in excess of $1 million for her.

    Million-dollar recovery

    A nurse from Westmoreland County suffered a severe lumbar ruptured disk when a chair that she was sitting in collapsed through a portion of a newly installed floor. Gismondi & Associates filed a personal injury claim against the contractor who installed the floor, and we were able to establish that the floor was not properly constructed in the area where the accident occurred. This woman was no longer able to return to her career as a nurse. We obtained a million-dollar recovery on her behalf.

    Excess of $1 million

    An iron worker from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, suffered serious crush injuries and orthopedic fractures as a result of being hit by a large steel plate, which was knocked over by another workman operating a forklift at a job site. We filed a claim against the employer of the forklift operator and obtained a recovery in excess of $1 million on behalf of this gentleman.

    Large award in excess of a million dollars

    A newborn baby girl at hospital in Pittsburgh had a catheter incorrectly placed, and it punctured her heart thereby causing her to have a fatal cardiac arrest only three days after being born. Her young parents, who witnessed her cardiac arrest and who were devastated by the loss of their daughter, received a large award in excess of a million dollars.

    Recovery well in excess of a million dollars

    A woman from Washington County suffered a serious stroke as a result of a blood clot in her heart, which broke free during a procedure, done at a Mon Valley Hospital, known as a cardioversion. This woman should have been given blood-thinning drugs before the cardioversion procedure was done, and that would have dissolved the clot. Unfortunately, that did not happen. We obtained a significant recovery well in excess of a million dollars on behalf of this woman’s family.

    Significant seven-figure recovery

    A recently married young woman from Allegheny County suffered a severe stroke as a side effect from the use of birth control pills. She had been having symptoms for several months such as blurred vision, but the doctor did not discontinue the pills. In our claim against the doctor, we obtained a significant seven-figure recovery on behalf of this woman who was severely brain injured with spastic quadriplegia and the inability to speak.

    Significant seven-figure recovery for paraplegic retiree

    Robert, a retiree from Shaler, went into the ER at UPMC Passavant after falling at home and hitting his head. An x-ray and CT scan was taken of his neck in the emergency room, and he was told everything was fine and sent home. Within a few hours of leaving the hospital, Robert was a paraplegic. The doctors in the ER had failed to see that he had an unstable fracture of his cervical spine, and by permitting him to walk out of the hospital, the fracture shifted and caused a permanent spinal cord injury. Rob’s wife had to quit her job, and she now takes care of her husband at home on a full-time basis as he lives in his wheelchair. We obtained a recovery well in excess of a million dollars for Bob and his wife.

    Seven-figure recovery for severe ankle fracture

    Work Site Injury at Heinz Field

    A woman in her 50s who worked at Heinz Field was struck at work by someone operating a golf cart during set up for a concert. The impact flipped the woman in the air and caused her to crash to the ground and severely fracture her ankle. The extent of the ankle fracture was such that the patient was in the hospital for two weeks and then was confined at home for four or five additional months.
     
    Despite a great deal of therapy, she went on to develop extensive post-traumatic arthritis and eventually she had to undergo an ankle replacement. Even two years after the accident, she was still only able to walk short distances with the aid of a cane. She will never return to her former job which involved a great deal of walking and standing. She is also quite limited in what she can do around the house.
     
    In this case, we claimed damages for the woman’s past pain and suffering, the loss of wages from her part-time job, and the future impact on her ability to do many of the daily activities she previously enjoyed. This case was a good illustration that even something as common as an ankle fracture can have very serious long-term effects and, therefore, be worthy of a recovery in excess of $1,000,000.

    Seven-figure recovery

    A young man in his early 20s from Allegheny County was recovering from surgery to remove a brain tumor. During follow-up visits with his doctors, he mentioned that he was starting to experience changes in his vision, but those complaints were ignored over a period of several weeks until tragically, he was permanently blind. It turned out that his blindness was caused by pressure on the optic nerve that should have been discovered and treated when he first started to complain about vision changes. We filed a medical malpractice claim, and attorney Gismondi obtained a seven-figure recovery to compensate him for suffering permanent blindness as a young, single man.

    Recovery in excess of a million dollars

    An iron worker from Penn Hills, Allegheny County, was killed when the boom on a crane malfunctioned during a bridge repair. The crane had been supplied in poor working order by a crane rental company. A claim was also filed against the crane manufacturer, JLG Industries, on the ground that the equipment was not properly designed. We obtained a recovery in excess of a million dollars on behalf of the widow of the iron worker.

    Very Large Six-Figure Settlement

    A young pregnant woman from Aliquippa, Beaver County, was visiting her doctor regularly. Near the end of the pregnancy, there were signs that the baby had stopped growing (a condition known as IUGR) but the doctor ignored them. As a result, the baby was born with brain damage, which affected his behavior and entire body coordination. By relying on medical experts in obstetrics who said the doctor should have delivered the baby as soon as the signs of growth retardation were present, we were able to obtain a very large six-figure settlement, which was placed in trust for the benefit of the child.

    Recovery in excess of a million dollars

    A Pittsburgh man from Brighton Heights was a passenger in a car driven by a drunk friend as they left Three Rivers Stadium after a Pirate baseball game. The drunk driver crashed the car and caused his passenger to be rendered a quadriplegic as a result of a severe brain injury. We filed a claim against the concession company at Three Rivers Stadium that sold the alcohol to the patron at the baseball game who was intoxicated. The company argued that there was no way for the people at the concession stand to know that the patron was intoxicated, but we eventually obtained a large recovery well in excess of a million dollars on behalf of this gentleman.

    Seven-figure recovery

    A young man in his early 20s from Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, was recovering from surgery to remove a brain tumor. During follow-up visits with his doctors, he mentioned that he was starting to experience changes in his vision, but those complaints were ignored over a period of several weeks until tragically, he was permanently blind. It turned out that his blindness was caused by pressure on the optic nerve that should have been discovered and treated when he first started to complain about vision changes. Attorney Gismondi obtained a seven-figure recovery to compensate him for suffering permanent blindness as a young, single man.

    Large award in excess of a million dollars

    A husband from Allegheny County and a teacher at a community college died from a pulmonary embolus that was not discovered while he was a patient at a Pittsburgh hospital following abdominal surgery. We filed a legal claim against the doctors and nurses claiming that there were clear warning signs that this patient was developing blood clots in his legs and that if earlier tests such as an ultrasound had been done, the clots would have been discovered before they broke off and went to his lungs and caused the man’s sudden death. We received a large award in excess of a million dollars on behalf of his widow and daughter.

    Award in excess of one million dollars for delay in diagnosing lung cancer

    A 54-year-old nurse from Uniontown, Fayette County, experienced a two-year delay in diagnosing lung cancer because a radiologist at a hospital in Connellsville, Fayette County, “missed” an obvious spot on her lung that should have been seen on a CT scan. Because of the delay, what started out as a small tumor that could have been successfully treated turned into something that could not be cured. The patient endured months and months of very agonizing chemotherapy but eventually lost her battle with cancer. We proved that the radiologist should have seen the cancer. We proved that the radiologist should have seen the cancer in the beginning, and we were able to obtain an award in excess of a million dollars for the nurse’s two adult daughters.

    Verdict in excess of $1 million

    A 10-year-old girl from Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, suffered serious facial fractures and injury to her eye as a result of being struck in the head by a hose that had come loose from a fire truck speeding through her neighborhood. The hose came loose from a compartment, which did not have a net or door to hold it in place. We filed a defective product claim against the fire truck company on the ground that they had not properly designed the hose compartment. A jury rendered a verdict in excess of $1 million for this child.

    Significant million-dollar recovery

    A recently married young woman from Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, suffered a severe stroke as a side effect from the use of birth control pills. She had been having symptoms for several months such as blurred vision, but the doctor did not discontinue the pills. In our claim against the doctor, we obtained a significant million-dollar recovery on behalf of this woman who was severely brain injured with spastic quadriplegia and the inability to speak.

    Seven-figure recovery in Post-tonsillectomy bleed

    Post-Tonsillectomy Bleed Case

    A man in his mid-30s died from severe bleeding that occurred one week after he underwent a routine tonsillectomy which was performed because of snoring and enlarged tonsils (tonsillar hypertrophy). It appears that the surgeon caused some damage to one of the main blood vessels as he was removing the tonsils, and that damage caused the wall of the blood vessel to deteriorate over the next several days until it finally “blew out” on the date of death. The injury to the blood vessel was likely caused by electrocautery used to cut tissue during the surgery. This man was survived by his wife, but they had no children.
     
    Most people think of a tonsillectomy as being a very simple surgery, but it actually carries serious risks, one of the main ones being precisely the sort of bleeding that occurred in this case. We offered two primary arguments against the surgeon. First, it was our contention that the tonsillectomy never should have been done because snoring is not a good enough reason to subject a patient to a tonsillectomy until you have first tried other less drastic treatments. Second, we argued that the doctor should have been more careful in how he was using the electrocautery in order to make sure that he did not injure surrounding blood vessels.
     
    This man was employed full-time as a steelworker in western Pennsylvania and, therefore, our claim included certain of his future wages that would have been used to support his wife. Also, as in any wrongful death case involving a surviving spouse, the wife was entitled to claim damages for the loss of her relationship with her husband, the legal term being “loss of consortium.” This would be considered a medical malpractice case as a result of a surgical error.

    Million dollar recovery

    Failure to Diagnose Heart Condition in ER

    An unmarried truck driver in his late 50s presented to a local emergency room with chest pain, shortness of breath and other complaints. An EKG was ordered by the emergency room physician and was interpreted by the ER doctor as normal. In truth, the EKG showed that the patient was in the early stages of a heart attack. Unfortunately, several more hours went by before a second doctor took another look at the EKG and discovered the heart attack. By that time, however, our client had suffered more damage to his heart. In addition to his regular work, this gentleman also owned a small farm where he grew fruit. As a result of his heart damage and resulting fatigue, he was not able to return to work as a truck driver and was more limited in what he could do around his house and property. Therefore, our primary claim for damages was for lost wages and changes in his lifestyle.
     
    Unfortunately, many medical malpractice cases take place in the emergency room. Patients often present there with serious conditions such as heart conditions, stroke, serious infection and the like. It is important that emergency room physicians order the appropriate tests correctly interpret them in order to properly diagnose the patient. In this case, the doctor ordered the right test but he did not interpret it correctly and, as a result, this patient’s heart attack was missed.

    Very significant seven-figure recovery

    A retired couple from New York died as a result of a fire that broke out in the cockpit of a small airplane manufactured by Mooney. We were able to provide that the fire occurred because of improper service and repair on the tailpipe section, which permitted hot fumes to ignite the engine. We obtained a very significant seven-figure recovery on behalf of the children of this retired couple.

    Recovery in excess of a million dollars

    A newborn child from Pittsburgh suffered a moderate traumatic brain injury as a result of a vacuum extractor, which was used to deliver the child during the birthing process at a Pittsburgh hospital. As a result of the brain injury, the child’s coordination, memory and cognitive function were disturbed. We filed a claim arguing that the obstetrician who used the vacuum extractor had exerted far too much pressure on it, thus leading to the injury. We obtained a recovery in excess of a million dollars on behalf of this child.

    Recovery in excess of $1 million

    A young man from Waynesburg, Greene County, suffered serious traumatic brain injuries as a result of a motor vehicle accident in Washington County. Although he survived, he developed many long-term problems because of the brain injury. We filed a personal injury claim against the other driver and made a recovery in excess of $1 million on his behalf.

    Recovery in excess of a million dollars

    A retired man from Altoona was mistakenly told that he had prostate cancer and underwent surgery for “cancer” and ended up impotent. It turns out that the man did not have cancer, and the mistake occurred because the hospital mixed up a sample of his prostate with that of another patient. If the mix-up had not occurred, the man would have never undergone the surgery for cancer that he never had. As a result of our medical malpractice claim, we obtained a significant recovery in excess of a million dollars on behalf of this man and his wife.

    Large award in excess of a million dollars

    A newborn baby girl at a local Pittsburgh hospital had a catheter incorrectly placed, and it punctured her heart thereby causing her to have a fatal cardiac arrest only three days after being born. Her young parents, who witnessed her cardiac arrest and who were devastated by the loss of their daughter, received a large award in excess of a million dollars as a result of the medical malpractice and wrongful death claim we filed.

    Settlement in excess of $1 million

    A teenage girl from Pittsburgh with scoliosis underwent surgery to correct her spine. During the surgery, some misplaced surgical screws caused injury to the spinal cord, which led to a significant drop in the patient’s blood pressure during the operation. In addition to the surgical error, the problem was compounded because the anesthesia team monitoring the patient failed to adequately react to correct the abnormal blood pressure. Sadly, this young college student died a few hours after surgery. Wrongful death and medical malpractice claims were filed by her parents against the orthopedic surgeon and the anesthesia team involved in the case, and a settlement in excess of $1 million was obtained.

    Recovery in excess of a million dollars

    A retiree from Shaler, went into the ER at a North Hills hospital after falling at home and hitting his bed. An X-ray and CT scan was taken of his neck in the emergency room, and he was told everything was fine and sent home. Within a few hours of leaving the hospital, Robert was a paraplegic. The doctors in the ER had failed to see that he had an unstable fracture of his cervical spine, and by permitting him to walk out of the hospital, the fracture shifted and caused a permanent spinal cord injury. Rob’s wife had to quit her job, and she now takes care of her husband at home on a full-time basis as he is wheelchair-bound. We obtained a recovery well in excess of a million dollars for Bob and his wife.

    Million dollar recovery

    Failure to Diagnose Heart Condition in ER

    An unmarried truck driver in his late 50s presented to a local emergency room with chest pain, shortness of breath and other complaints. An EKG was ordered by the emergency room physician and was interpreted by the ER doctor as normal. In truth, the EKG showed that the patient was in the early stages of a heart attack. Unfortunately, several more hours went by before a second doctor took another look at the EKG and discovered the heart attack. By that time, however, our client had suffered more damage to his heart. In addition to his regular work, this gentleman also owned a small farm where he grew fruit. As a result of his heart damage and resulting fatigue, he was not able to return to work as a truck driver and was more limited in what he could do around his house and property. Therefore, our primary claim for damages was for lost wages and changes in his lifestyle.
     
    Unfortunately, many medical malpractice cases take place in the emergency room. Patients often present there with serious conditions such as heart conditions, stroke, serious infection and the like. It is important that emergency room physicians order the appropriate tests correctly interpret them in order to properly diagnose the patient. In this case, the doctor ordered the right test but he did not interpret it correctly and, as a result, this patient’s heart attack was missed.

    Significant award of approximately $1 million

    A retired man from Erie had a routine chest X-ray done before entering the hospital for surgery on his leg. The chest X-ray showed suspicious signs that he might have lung cancer, but his doctor never read the report of the X-ray results and, as a result, the man was never referred for further investigation of the nodule in his lung. Another two years passed by before anyone investigated the nodule. It was found to be cancerous, but by that time, it was too late for successful treatment, and the man died approximately one year later. We filed a wrongful death and medical malpractice claim and obtained a significant award of approximately $1 million on behalf of this man’s widow.

    Seven-figure recovery for a lung cancer victim

    Failure to diagnose lung cancer in veteran

    A Pittsburgh resident in his late 50s died as a result of a delay in diagnosing lung cancer. The cancer was first “missed” on a CT scan done in early 2012 at a private hospital, and then in 2013 at a Veterans Hospital in the Pittsburgh area. The patient had a chest x-ray which was suspicious for possible cancer, and it was recommended that a CT scan be performed, but someone at the hospital “dropped the ball,” and the CT was never scheduled until more than a year later. By that time, the tumor had doubled in size.
     
    In most lung cancer cases the first sign that something may be wrong is a respiratory complaint from the patient, usually shortness of breath or a cough that will not go away. The investigation for lung cancer typically starts with a chest x-ray, but an even better test is a CT scan of the chest. Modern CT scans are able to detect lung tumors as small as 1 mm in size. In this gentleman’s case, the tumor had grown much larger than that by the time it was discovered. Unfortunately, the late discovery deprived him of the opportunity for a cure, and he died in 2015.
     
    Although the patient was no longer working, he was drawing Social Security and was also handy around the house. In a case involving wrongful death of a patient such as this, we claimed damages for loss of Social Security income and the value of household services. In addition, he had a very loving wife of several years, and an important part of the claim was for the loss of her relationship with her husband, the legal term for that being “loss of consortium.”
     
    Eventually, we were able to achieve a recovery in excess of seven figures with both the VA hospital and the private hospital contributing to the settlement.

    Award in excess of a million dollars

    A 54-year-old nurse from Uniontown, Fayette County, experienced a two-year delay in diagnosing lung cancer because a radiologist at a hospital in Connellsville, Fayette County, “missed” an obvious spot on her lung that should have been seen on a CT scan. Because of the delay, what started out as a small tumor that could have been successfully treated turned into something that could not be cured. The patient endured months and months of very agonizing chemotherapy but eventually lost her battle with cancer. We proved that the radiologist should have seen the cancer. We proved that the radiologist should have seen the cancer in the beginning, and we were able to obtain an award in excess of a million dollars for the nurse’s two adult daughters.

    Award in excess of a million dollars

    A single mother from Allegheny developed cervical cancer, which should have been discovered at least a few years earlier if a pap smear test had been read correctly. Because of the delay in diagnosing her cervical cancer, this woman eventually died. We obtained an award in excess of a million dollars for this woman’s young child.

    Significant award of approximately $1 million

    A retired man from Erie had a routine chest X-ray done before entering the hospital for surgery on his leg. The chest X-ray showed suspicious signs that he might have lung cancer, but his doctor never read the report of the X-ray results and, as a result, the man was never referred for further investigation of the nodule in his lung. Another two years passed by before anyone investigated the nodule. It was found to be cancerous, but by that time, it was too late for successful treatment, and the man died approximately one year later. We filed a wrongful death and medical malpractice claim and obtained a significant award of approximately $1 million on behalf of this man’s widow.

    Settlement in excess of a million dollars

    A teenage girl from Pittsburgh with scoliosis underwent surgery to correct her spine. During the surgery, some misplaced surgical screws caused injury to the spinal cord, which led to a significant drop in the patient’s blood pressure during the operation. In addition to the surgery, the problem was compounded because the anesthesia team monitoring the patient failed to adequately react to correct the abnormal blood pressure. Sadly, this young college student died a few hours after surgery. Wrongful death and medical malpractice claims were filed by her parents against the orthopedic surgeon and the anesthesia team involved in the case, and a settlement in excess of $1 million was obtained.

    Very significant recovery in excess of $1 million

    A husband and father from Altoona suffered a fatal heart attack because his doctor failed to discover that he was suffering from coronary artery disease. This man had undergone thallium stress testing several weeks before his death, but those tests were incorrectly interpreted as normal. In truth, the tests were abnormal, and the man should have been sent for placement of a cardiac stent or bypass surgery. If that had been done, he would have avoided the fatal heart attack. We obtained a very significant recovery in excess of $1 million on behalf of this man’s widow.

    Award in excess of a million dollars

    An Altoona husband and father of two young children went to see his cardiologist complaining about chest pain, but the doctor dismissed the complaints as nothing unusual. Several days later, the man suffered a fatal heart attack after playing basketball. It was determined that he had coronary artery disease all along, and if the doctor had investigated properly, he would have discovered it and could have treated the blocked arteries with a stent or coronary bypass surgery. Either procedure would have prevented the death of this man. An award in excess of a million dollars was obtained for the widow and her two young children, both of whom had their college education secured with the payment.

    Large million-dollar award

    Following the delivery of her child, a woman from northern Pennsylvania began developing blood clots in her leg (the medical term is deep venous thrombosis). Her obstetrician did not give her proper blood-thinning medication and, as a result, one of the clots in the leg broke off and caused a delay in diagnosing a pulmonary embolus. A large million-dollar award was obtained for the widow of this woman and her young child.

    Million dollar recovery for failure to treat lung cancer

    A retired man from Erie had a routine chest x-ray done before entering the hospital for surgery on his leg. The chest x-ray showed suspicious signs that he might have lung cancer, but his doctor never read the report of the x-ray results and, as a result, the man was never referred for further investigation of the nodule in his lung. Another two years passed by before anyone investigated the nodule. It was found to be cancerous, but by that time, it was too late for successful treatment, and the man died approximately one year later. We filed a wrongful death and medical malpractice claim and obtained a significant award of approximately one million dollars on behalf of this man’s widow.

    Verdict in excess of $1 million

    A 10-year-old girl from Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, suffered serious facial fractures and injury to her eye as a result of being struck in the head by a hose that had come loose from a fire truck speeding through her neighborhood. The hose came loose from a compartment, which did not have a net or door to hold it in place. We filed a defective product claim against the fire truck company on the ground that they had not properly designed the hose compartment. A jury rendered a verdict in excess of $1 million for this child.

    Recovery in excess of $1 million

    A young woman from Greensburg, Westmoreland County, died from a severe blood infection known as Clostridium difficile, which developed shortly after the delivery of her second child. The mother had returned to her obstetrician’s office a few days after the delivery with various complaints indicating that she may have a uterine infection, but the doctor delayed in putting her in the hospital and giving her antibiotics. As a result, by the time she presented to the emergency room, she was near death and no treatment could save her. We filed the claim against the doctor for not hospitalizing the patient and providing necessary antibiotic treatment. We received a recovery in excess of $1 million for the husband and surviving children of this young woman.

    Large seven-figure award

    A young man who was a pedestrian in the South Hills area of Pittsburgh was struck by an SUV and suffered several spinal fractures. When the neurosurgeon operated on this young gentleman, however, he caused injury to the spinal cord and the man was left with a dropped foot and other disabilities. We obtained a large seven-figure award for the man, which enabled him to pay for college and have financial stability for the rest of his life.

    Large seven-figure recovery 

    A Pittsburgh man from Brighton Heights was a passenger in a car driven by a drunk friend as they left Three Rivers Stadium after a Pirate baseball game. The drunk driver crashed the car and caused his passenger to be rendered a quadriplegic as a result of a severe brain injury. We filed a claim against the concession company at Three Rivers Stadium that sold the alcohol to the patron at the baseball game who was intoxicated. The company argued that there was no way for the people at the concession stand to know that the patron was intoxicated, but we eventually obtained a large seven-figure recovery on behalf of this gentleman.

    Large seven-figure recovery

    A young woman from Johnstown suffered cauda equina syndrome, a compression on her spinal cord caused by a ruptured disk, which left her with impaired bowel and bladder function and a dropped foot. This condition occurred while the patient was in the hospital with back pain, and we filed a medical malpractice claim against the hospital and the doctors claiming that they did not move quickly enough to take her to surgery to relieve the pressure on her spinal cord. A large seven-figure recovery was obtained in her favor.

    Recovery in excess of a million dollars

    A traveling salesman from Pittsburgh suffered serious burns when a propane tank on a travel trailer exploded. We filed a claim against the company that sold the trailer on the ground that they had inadequate warnings about how to guard against leaks in the propane system. A significant recovery in excess of a million dollars was obtained on behalf of this gentleman.

    Recoveries totaling in excess of a million dollars

    A Pittsburgh husband and wife along with their three daughters suffered serious injuries when their conversion van rolled over in a highway accident, and the roof of the van came off, thereby causing all of the occupants to be ejected. We filed claims against the driver who caused the accident as well as the maker of the van, General Motors, and the “conversion” company that customized the van and put the defective roof in place. After a lengthy litigation, recoveries totaling in excess of a million dollars were obtained on behalf of the family and, in particular, the 14-year-old daughter who was the most seriously injured of the group.

    Seven-figure recovery

    A business woman from Washington, Pennsylvania, died in an aviation incident involving a Beech aircraft while returning home from a business trip. The circumstances of the accident were disputed, but we were able to establish that the crash was caused by pilot error, and a seven-figure recovery was obtained on behalf of this woman’s husband and son.

    Significant seven-figure award

    Three young children from Monroeville, Pennsylvania, died in a Christmas Eve fire. Local investigators concluded that the fire appeared to have started in a corner of the living room. With the assistance of fire consultants, electrical engineers and metallurgists from around the country, we were able to determine that the fire started in a television set located in that part of the house. We filed a defective product claim against the manufacturer of the TV on the ground that its circuit system was defective and was prone to create “hot spots” that could lead to a fire. After extensive litigation, we received a significant seven-figure award on behalf of the parents of these children.

    Significant seven-figure award

    Three young children from Monroeville, Pennsylvania, died in a Christmas Eve fire. Local investigators concluded that the fire appeared to have started in a corner of the living room. With the assistance of fire consultants, electrical engineers and metallurgists from around the country, we were able to determine that the fire started in a television set located in that part of the house. We filed a defective product claim against the manufacturer of the TV on the ground that its circuit system was defective and was prone to create “hot spots” that could lead to a fire. After extensive litigation, we received a significant seven-figure award on behalf of the parents of these children.

    Significant seven-figure award

    Three young children from Monroeville, Pennsylvania, died in a Christmas Eve fire. Local investigators concluded that the fire appeared to have started in a corner of the living room. With the assistance of fire consultants, electrical engineers and metallurgists from around the country, we were able to determine that the fire started in a television set located in that part of the house. We filed a defective product claim against the manufacturer of the TV on the ground that its circuit system was defective and was prone to create “hot spots” that could lead to a fire. After extensive litigation, we received a significant seven-figure award on behalf of the parents of these children.

    Recovery in excess of a million dollars

    An iron worker from Penn Hills, Allegheny County, was killed when the boom on a crane malfunctioned during a bridge repair. The crane had been supplied in poor working order by a crane rental company. A claim was also filed against the crane manufacturer, JLG Industries, on the ground that the equipment was not properly designed. We obtained a recovery in excess of a million dollars on behalf of the widow of the iron worker.

    Recovery in excess of a million dollars

    A traveling salesman from Pittsburgh suffered serious burns when a propane tank on a travel trailer exploded. We filed a claim against the company that sold the trailer on the ground that they had inadequate warnings about how to guard against leaks in the propane system. A significant recovery in excess of a million dollars was obtained on behalf of this gentleman.

    Large seven-figure award

    A newborn baby was undergoing an angiogram at a Pittsburgh hospital when a part of the tube used for the test broke off and became lodged in a blood vessel near the baby’s knee. This foreign object cut off blood supply to the rest of the leg, and the leg suffered gangrene and had to be amputated. By using a team of scientific and medical experts, we successfully sued the manufacturer of the tube on the ground that it was too brittle, and we also successfully proved that the doctor was using too much force in trying to push the tube in when he should have known there was problem, and thus, causing it to break. We obtained a large seven-figure award on behalf of the child and her parents.

    Significant six-figure recovery 

    An elderly woman from Pittsburgh entered a hospital for a hip replacement surgery. The surgery itself went fine. However, following the surgery, she was given a blood transfusion with the wrong type of blood, and she died soon thereafter. We filed a medical malpractice and wrongful death claim against the hospital on the ground that they gave the patient the wrong type of blood. A significant six-figure recovery was received for this woman’s estate and her heirs.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    A woman from northern Pennsylvania received an improper blood transfusion and developed several medical problems as a result of receiving the wrong blood type. We obtained a significant six-figure recovery on her behalf after filing a medical malpractice claim.

    Very significant six-figure recovery

    A four-year-old girl from Uniontown suffered severe lacerations to her foot when she was run over by a riding lawn mower being operated by her grandfather. We filed a defective product lawsuit against the manufacturer of the lawn mower on the ground that the mower was not equipped with appropriate safety devices and guards to prevent injuries of this sort when the mower was being operated in reverse. We obtained a very significant six-figure recovery on behalf of this child and the money was safeguarded for her future needs.

    Recovery of nearly $1 million

    A young single male from Pittsburgh was killed as a result of a sudden oil leak that occurred while he was operating his Honda motorcycle near Frick Park in Pittsburgh. The leaking oil sprayed on his rear tire and caused the driver to lose control and strike a telephone pole. The attorneys at Gismondi & Associates filed a defective product claim against Honda on the ground that the “O” rings for their oil filters were not properly designed and had a propensity to come loose. In this personal injury lawsuit, we obtained a recovery of nearly $1 million on behalf of this young man’s parents.

    Recovery of nearly $1 million

    A young single male from Pittsburgh was killed as a result of a sudden oil leak that occurred while he was operating his Honda motorcycle near Frick Park in Pittsburgh. The leaking oil sprayed on his rear tire and caused the driver to lose control and strike a telephone pole. The attorneys at Gismondi & Associates filed a defective product claim against Honda on the ground that the “O” rings for their oil filters were not properly designed and had a propensity to come loose. In this personal injury lawsuit, we obtained a recovery of nearly $1 million on behalf of this young man’s parents.

    Large six-figure recovery

    A single mother from Erie suffered a serious cut to her hand and fingers when a glass houseware device used to grind nuts broken in her hand. We relied on engineers to piece the broken glass back together and were able to eventually determine that there was a defect in the glass when the product was originally sold. We obtained a large six-figure recovery on behalf of this homemaker.

    Undisclosed Award

    An elderly man from DuBois suffered serious orthopedic injuries in a nursing home when a piece of equipment that was lifting him broke causing him to fall to the floor. We successfully proved that both the nursing home and the manufacturer of the equipment were at fault and resolved the claim in favor of the family.

    Large six-figure recovery

    A hair stylist from Pittsburgh suffered lacerations to his hand in an accident involving the blade of a power lawn mower. We filed a claim against the manufacturer of the mower on the ground that the machine was inadequately designed and did not have proper instructions to prevent injuries of this sort. A large, six-figure recovery on behalf of this gentleman was obtained.

    Six-figure recovery

    A young girl from Somerset suffered serious lacerations to her foot when she was run over by a power lawn mower being driven by her grandfather. The attorneys of Gismondi & Associates filed a defective product claim against the makers of the mower on the ground that it did not have proper safety devices to prevent injuries when the mower was cutting in reverse. We obtained a six-figure recovery on behalf of this child, and the money was safeguarded for her future needs.

    Very substantial six-figure award

    A middle-aged man from Fayette County was piloting his Cessna aircraft from Latrobe, PA, to the Chester County Airport outside of Philadelphia. Upon approach to landing at the Chester County Airport, the plane crashed and the pilot and three passengers died. With the help of extensive investigative work by a group of experts, including engineers, pilots and accident reconstructionists, we were able to show that the crash occurred due to a defect in the instructions on how to land the aircraft under certain emergency circumstances that existed at the time. We filed a product liability claim against the manufacturer of the airplane, Cessna, and obtained a very substantial six-figure award on behalf of this man’s widow.

    Very significant six-figure recovery

    A four-year-old girl from Uniontown suffered severe lacerations to her foot when she was run over by a riding lawn mower being operated by her grandfather. We filed a defective product lawsuit against the manufacturer of the lawn mower on the ground that the mower was not equipped with appropriate safety devices and guards to prevent injuries of this sort when the mower was being operated in reverse. We obtained a very significant six-figure recovery on behalf of this child and the money was safeguarded for her future needs.

    Verdict of $500,000

    A factory worker from Verona suffered a ruptured disk when the chain on a forklift which was supporting him broke causing him to crash to the floor and severely jolt his back. We filed a defective product claim against Clark Equipment, the manufacturer of the forklift on the ground that they had not given proper instructions about how to check for weakness in the chain and when to replace it. A jury returned a verdict of $500,000 on behalf of this man.

    Large six-figure recovery

    A single mother from Erie suffered a serious cut to her hand and fingers when a glass houseware device used to grind nuts broken in her hand. We relied on engineers to piece the broken glass back together and were able to eventually determine that there was a defect in the glass when the product was originally sold. We obtained a large six-figure recovery on behalf of this homemaker.

    Six-figure recovery

    A construction worker from Washington, Pennsylvania, suffered burns to his arms and hands due to a flash fire that occurred when gas leaked from a chainsaw that he was using while working on a bridge. We filed a claim against the manufacturer of the chainsaw and were able to prove that the gas cap was not designed properly to prevent leaks. We obtained a six-figure recovery on behalf of this man.

    Six-figure recovery

    A young girl from Somerset suffered serious lacerations to her foot when she was run over by a power lawn mower being driven by her grandfather. The attorneys of Gismondi & Associates filed a defective product claim against the makers of the mower on the ground that it did not have proper safety devices to prevent injuries when the mower was cutting in reverse. We obtained a six-figure recovery on behalf of this child, and the money was safeguarded for her future needs.

    Six-figure recovery 

    A 16-year-old boy from Uniontown, Fayette County, suffered serious hand injury due to lack of guarding on a piece of farm equipment that he was using. A defective product claim was filed against the seller and designer of the equipment, and a six-figure recovery was obtained on behalf of this young man.

    Large six-figure recovery

    A hair stylist from Pittsburgh suffered lacerations to his hand in an accident involving the blade of a power lawn mower. We filed a claim against the manufacturer of the mower on the ground that the machine was inadequately designed and did not have proper instructions to prevent injuries of this sort. A large, six-figure recovery on behalf of this gentleman was obtained.

    Verdict of $500,000

    A factory worker from Verona suffered a ruptured disk when the chain on a forklift which was supporting him broke causing him to crash to the floor and severely jolt his back. We filed a defective product claim against Clark Equipment, the manufacturer of the forklift on the ground that they had not given proper instructions about how to check for weakness in the chain and when to replace it. A jury returned a verdict of $500,000 on behalf of this man.

    Six-figure recovery

    A construction worker from Washington, Pennsylvania, suffered burns to his arms and hands due to a flash fire that occurred when gas leaked from a chainsaw that he was using while working on a bridge. We filed a claim against the manufacturer of the chainsaw and were able to prove that the gas cap was not designed properly to prevent leaks. We obtained a six-figure recovery on behalf of this man.

    Six-figure recovery 

    A 16-year-old boy from Uniontown, Fayette County, suffered serious hand injury due to lack of guarding on a piece of farm equipment that he was using. A defective product claim was filed against the seller and designer of the equipment, and a six-figure recovery was obtained on behalf of this young man.

    Undisclosed Award

    An elderly man from DuBois suffered serious orthopedic injuries in a nursing home when a piece of equipment that was lifting him broke causing him to fall to the floor. We successfully proved that both the nursing home and the manufacturer of the equipment were at fault and resolved the claim in favor of the family.

    Six-figure recovery

    A businessman from Pittsburgh suffered a ruptured disk due to turbulence in an aviation incident aboard a US Air flight from Charlotte to Pittsburgh. Pilot error in ignoring certain weather warnings was at the root of the accident. We obtained a six-figure recovery for the gentleman.

    Significant six-figure recovery 

    A young single man from Washington, Pennsylvania, was fatally injured in the aviation incident. There was a dispute about who was piloting the plane at the time of the accident, but with the use of extensive forensic experts, we were able to prove that it was not our client at the controls. That enabled us to obtain a significant six-figure recovery on behalf of this young gentleman against the pilot of the aircraft.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    A brick mason from Washington County suffered serious orthopedic injuries in an aviation incident when his aircraft crashed due to water in the fuel system. A claim was filed against Cessna on the ground that they did not adequately instruct pilots on how to properly drain the fuel tanks of water. A significant six-figure recovery was obtained on behalf of this gentleman.

    Significant six-figure award

    A retired woman from Allegheny County suffered a severe fracture of the right arm and elbow as a result of falling on ice and snow, which had been allowed to accumulate in a parking lot outside of a restaurant. We filed a negligence claim against the owner of the property and were able to prove that the ice and snow had been accumulated for days without being removed. We obtained a significant six-figure award on her behalf.

    Large six-figure award

    An elderly man from McKeesport with Alzheimer’s disease suffered a fall at McKeesport Hospital, which eventually led to his death. The nursing staff should have known that he was prone to fall and should have taken further precaution by using a bed alarm and other safety devices. In a wrongful death and medical malpractice claim, we were able to establish that the hospital did not follow some of its own safety procedures in preventing falls, and eventually obtained a large six-figure award for the daughter of this elderly man.

    Undisclosed Award

    An elderly man suffered serious orthopedic injuries in a nursing home when a piece of equipment that was lifting him broke causing him to fall to the floor. We successfully proved that both the nursing home and the manufacturer of the equipment were at fault and resolved the claim in favor of the family.

    Large six-figure award

    An elderly woman was a patient at Shadyside Hospital when she suffered a fall while trying to go to the bathroom. She ended up with a head injury, which eventually caused a stroke and her death one week later. We successfully filed a wrongful death against the nurses and the hospital that were responsible for the fall, and a large six-figure award was obtained for the patient’s heirs.

    Large six-figure settlement

    An elderly woman from Erie, Pennsylvania, who was a resident of a nursing home suffered a fall in the hallway when she was knocked over by a swinging door. The fall caused a hip fracture, which required surgery to repair. Unfortunately, the elderly woman died one week after surgery. We successfully proved that the nursing home knew of other, similar accidents and should have changed the design of the door long ago in order to prevent accidents of this sort. A large six-figure settlement was obtained as a result of the wrongful death claim we filed.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    A middle-aged woman from Beaver fell while working at the Beaver Valley Geriatric Center and suffered serious orthopedic injuries. The fall was caused by an oily substance on the floor that had not been removed by the cleaning service, which took care of the geriatric facility. We filed a personal injury claim against the cleaning company on the ground that their workers failed to do what their job required. We obtained a significant six-figure recovery on her behalf.

    Large six-figure recovery

    A 60-year-old woman fell in a parking lot and suffered a serious injury to the radius and ulna, the bones of the forearm. She had two surgeries and was in an external fixation device for several weeks. She never regained full and complete use of her arm. We obtained a large six-figure recovery from the snow removal company that had the responsibility of clearing the parking lot.

    Substantial six-figure award

    A retired school teacher was hit in the back by a dolly as she walked through the aisle of a grocery store. The dolly was being pushed by a stock boy from the grocery store. The woman suffered a hip fracture and fractured elbow. A substantial six-figure award was obtained for her and her husband.

    Significant six-figure award

    An elderly Pittsburgh woman who was a resident in an apartment building was robbed and sexually assaulted by a man who gained entry through a side door of the building that was supposed to be locked. We filed a personal injury and wrongful death lawsuit against the building owner on the ground that they had improper security measures in place. Our attorneys obtained a significant six-figure award on behalf of this elderly woman.

    Significant six-figure award

    A young woman in Pittsburgh’s East End was attacked and raped in her apartment by a serial rapist who was known to be in the area. We filed a personal injury claim against the landlord of the apartment building on the grounds that the rapist had entered the building through windows that did not have a proper locking mechanism. The Gismondi & Associate attorneys obtained a very significant six-figure award on behalf of the young woman.

    Large six-figure award

    An elderly woman from Pittsburgh suffered complete loss of vision in her left eye as a result of an injury she sustained during a lens implant surgery. We filed a medical malpractice action against the ophthalmologist who performed the surgery and were able to prove with the assistance of independent consultants that improper surgical technique led to the injury. We obtained a large six-figure award for this woman.

    Large six-figure recovery 

    A young boy from Beaver County lost the vision in one eye as a result of a delay in diagnosing amblyopia. A large six-figure recovery was obtained on behalf of this boy, and the money was safeguarded to be available to him during his adult years.

    Recovery well into the six figures

    A retired maintenance man from Shaler, Allegheny County, lost the vision in one eye as a result of a mistake made during a medical procedure. A recovery well into the six figures was obtained on behalf of this gentleman.

    Significant six-figure settlement

    A sheet metal worker from Beaver County suffered significantly reduced function in his right hand because of a one-month delay in diagnosing a fractured wrist. He had been seen at the emergency room one month earlier where X-rays were taken of the wrist and he was mistakenly told that there was no fracture. We filed a medical malpractice claim against the medical center on the grounds that they “missed” the fracture in the emergency room, and we obtained a significant six-figure settlement on his behalf.

    Six-figure settlement

    A young father from Westmoreland County suffered serious lower leg injuries in an accident at Kennywood Park when a pavilion collapsed. We were able to prove that the park did not take adequate precautions in building the structure, and we obtained a six-figure settlement for this man.

    Significant six-figure recovery 

    A middle-aged woman from Beaver fell while working at the Beaver Valley Geriatric Center and suffered serious orthopedic injuries. The fall was caused by an oily substance on the floor that had not been removed by the cleaning service, which took care of the geriatric facility. We filed a personal injury claim against the cleaning company on the ground that their workers failed to do what their job required. We obtained a significant six-figure recovery on her behalf.

    Significant six-figure award

    A young boy from Uniontown suffered serious orthopedic injuries when he was hit after getting off a school bus. We filed a personal injury claim against the private company that provided the transportation service to the school district and were able to establish that the driver did not follow proper procedures in discharging passengers. We obtained a significant six-figure recovery on the boy’s behalf.
     
    A single male from Pittsburgh suffered a serious knee injury when he fell through a hatch, which was left open in the floor of a pleasure fishing boat. The attorneys of Gismondi & Associates filed a personal injury claim against the operators of the boat on the ground that they should have been more careful in protecting unsophisticated customers who were coming on board their boat for pleasure fishing. The man’s knee required three surgeries. Our attorneys made a recovery well in excess of six figures on this gentleman’s behalf.
     
    A young toddler from Somerset, Pennsylvania, fell from a horse and suffered a leg fracture. When she was taken to the hospital, the doctors failed to notice that she was developing severe swelling inside the leg near the fracture, a condition known as compartment syndrome. If the pressure from the swelling inside the leg is not relieved, the patient can suffer permanent muscle and nerve damage in the lower leg. Unfortunately, because the doctors did not pay attention to the swelling, that is exactly what happened to this young girl. We filed a medical malpractice action against the orthopedic surgeon and the hospital and were able to obtain a recovery well into six figures on behalf of this young child.

    Very significant six-figure award

    A young college graduate from the North Hills suffered significant orthopedic injuries when his leg was run over by a car as he walked along the side of the road. We obtained a very significant six-figure award on his behalf.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    An elderly woman from Westmoreland County suffered a serious arm fracture during physical therapy. We filed a claim against the physical therapy company claiming that the exercises they performed violated the prescription given by the orthopedic doctor, and that is what led to the arm fracture. A significant six-figure recovery was obtained on her behalf.

    Six-figure award

    A young woman from Pittsburgh was hit by a drunk driver on Baum Boulevard causing her leg to be pinned under the steering wheel and fracturing her femur. She had to undergo surgery for the permanent placement of a rod in her leg. An award well into six figures was obtained on her behalf.

    Significant six-figure award

    A young man from Sewickley, Allegheny County, was seriously injured when a dump truck struck his car causing multiple orthopedic injuries. This young man missed several weeks of work and was in the hospital for an extended period of time. We obtained a significant six-figure award on his behalf.

    Significant six-figure award

    A retired woman from Pittsburgh suffered serious orthopedic injuries (leg and pelvic fractures) when a young man ran a red light and crashed into her car on Forbes Avenue. She spent several weeks in Presbyterian Hospital and Magee Women’s Hospital. A significant six-figure award was obtained on her behalf.

    Six-figure settlement

    A retired man from Waynesburg, Greene County, was struck by a car while crossing the road and suffered a serious hip fracture, which required surgery. The driver who hit this pedestrian claimed that the pedestrian was at fault. We successfully proved otherwise and obtained a six-figure settlement for the injured man.

    Large six-figure recovery

    A 60-year-old woman fell in a parking lot and suffered a serious injury to the radius and ulna, the bones of the forearm. She had two surgeries and was in an external fixation device for several weeks. She never regained full and complete use of her arm. We obtained a large six-figure recovery from the snow removal company that had the responsibility of clearing the parking lot.

    High six-figure recovery

    A toddler from Erie was born with bilateral dislocations of her hips, but her pediatrician did not discover this until it was too late for the problem to be corrected. As a result, she had to undergo major surgeries that could have been avoided if the hip dislocations had been discovered sooner. A recovery in the high six figures was obtained on her behalf.

    Large six-figure award

    A young married man from Mt. Pleasant, Westmoreland County, suffered orthopedic injuries (both tibia and fibula), which was not treated properly and, as a result, he eventually had to undergo a fusion of his ankle. Ankle fusion eliminates pain, but it also causes the patient to lose all motion and function at the ankle joint. The claim was filed against the orthopedic surgeon on the ground that he did not perform the appropriate surgery to treat the fractures and a large six-figure award was obtained for the client.

    Large six-figure recovery

    A young man suffered a fracture on his left forearm and was taken to a hospital in Pittsburgh where a cast was placed on the arm. However, when the cast was placed, part of the bone was still dislocated near the elbow. Neither the orthopedic surgeon or the radiologist noticed it. As a result, the bone did not heal properly, and this young man was left with abnormal motion at the elbow. A large six-figure recovery was obtained on his behalf.

    Significant six-figure award

    An elderly woman who was a resident of a personal care home died as a result of burns she received after wandering away from her room and falling next to a radiator where she was discovered hours later. We filed a personal injury claim against the owners of the nursing home on the ground that they should have been supervising this woman much more closely since she had a known habit of wandering away from her home. We obtain a significant six-figure award on behalf of her family.

    Significant six-figure award

    A mentally challenged elderly man suffered severe burns to his legs when he was left in a bathtub of hot water at a community living facility. Gismondi & Associates filed a personal injury claim against the operators of the residence on the ground that their staff did not properly monitor this man and never should have left him alone. Even though he was elderly, unemployed and had no immediate family members, we obtained a significant six-figure award on behalf of his estate.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    A young boy from Uniontown, Fayette County, suffered a burn to his leg during surgery at a Pittsburgh hospital. The surgery was being done to fix a leg fracture that happened in a bicycle accident. We filed a claim against the hospital on the ground that the electric pad was not placed properly during the surgery nor was it watched closely enough to prevent a burn from occurring. We obtained a significant six-figure recovery on behalf of this child.

    Six-figure recovery

    A construction worker from Washington, Pennsylvania, suffered burns to his arms and hands due to a flash fire that occurred when gas leaked from a chainsaw that he was using while working on a bridge. We filed a claim against the manufacturer of the chainsaw and were able to prove that the gas cap was not designed properly to prevent leaks. We obtained a six-figure recovery on behalf of this man.

    Six-figure award

    A Greensburg, Pennsylvania, child with severe brain damage was taken to a Pittsburgh hospital to be treated for dehydration. An IV was started to give him fluids and certain chemicals, but unfortunately, the IV needle was placed incorrectly and it caused the chemicals to burn the skin of this child’s foot. Therefore, he was required to undergo debridement and skin grafting. Although the child already had severe brain damage, this additional injury caused him considerable pain and also left scarring on his foot. We filed a medical malpractice claim, and a six-figure award was obtained, which enabled the parents to provide for many of the daily needs they were otherwise unable to afford for the child.

    Significant six-figure settlement

    A 70-year-old retiree from Butler, PA, suffered a serious chemical burn to his hand while he was a patient at a hospital in Shadyside. An IV line containing the chemical was placed incorrectly, and it caused the chemical to burn the skin. In addition to having permanent scars, the function of his hand never returned to normal. A significant six-figure settlement award was obtained for him as a result of the medical malpractice claim we filed.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    A young man from Erie had an abnormal growth in the bone of his lower leg. The growth was removed, but the pathologist who looked at the tissue under a microscope failed to identify that the growth was cancerous. As a result of the delayed diagnosis of cancer, no treatment was given for almost two years. By that time, the cancer had spread and the man ended up with a below-the-knee amputation. We obtained a significant recovery well into six figures on behalf of this man. Fortunately, he was able to continue performing his job.

    Large six-figure award

    A 52-year-old woman from Altoona suffered a deep venous thrombosis (DVT) as a result of an injury to her common iliac vein, which occurred while she was undergoing surgery for an anterior spine fusion. As a result of the DVT, blood supply to the lower leg was disrupted and ultimately led to the amputation of the leg below the knee. We filed a delayed diagnosis of cancer against the surgeon on the grounds that he caused injury to the common iliac vein; that he did not repair that injury properly; and that he did not take appropriate measures to dissolve the DVT before it was too late. We obtained a high six-figure award on behalf of this woman.

    Significant award

    A long-time postal worker from DuBois, Jefferson County, went to the emergency room with excruciating pain in his right leg. The ER doctor felt that it was a blood clot in his leg because it was turning blue from lack of blood supply. He urgently paged a surgeon, but the surgeon waited several hours to respond. In the meantime, the victim’s leg suffered gangrene from lack of blood supply and it had to be amputated. We obtained a significant award to compensate him for living the rest of his life as an amputee.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    An elderly man from Altoona had to have his leg amputated because of uncontrolled diabetes. We filed a claim against his primary care physician who was not watching his blood sugars closely enough and should have had the diabetes under better control. We obtained a significant six-figure recovery on his behalf.

    Large six-figure settlement

    An elderly man from Waynesburg, Greene County, was seriously injured in a car accident when a pizza delivery driver who was moving too fast crossed the center line and slammed into his vehicle. His most serious injury was to his lower leg, and he eventually had to have it amputated below the knee. We filed a claim against the pizza shop on the ground that the driver had a known history of traffic violations and that they should have monitored him more closely. We obtained a large six-figure recovery on behalf of this man.

    Substantial six-figure settlement

    A young father from Allegheny County went into a Pittsburgh hospital with a serious leg fracture. The doctors in the emergency room did not realize that the fracture site was open and likely contaminated, therefore they did not give the proper antibiotics. He eventually had an amputation at the ankle after previously undergoing several surgeries trying to salvage the foot. A substantial, six-figure settlement was obtained for him as a result of a lawsuit filed against the hospital.

    Very high six-figure award

    A husband and father from Beaver County underwent surgery on his back a hospital in Beaver. Following the surgery, a collection of blood started to form around his spinal cord (the medical term is epidural hematoma), but his doctor did not notice it until it was too late. Because the hematoma was not drained, it continued to press on the spinal cord until it caused the patient to have a permanent foot drop and also affected his bowel and bladder function. The attorneys of Gismondi & Associates filed a medical malpractice claim on this man’s behalf, and a jury returned a very high six-figure award.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    Spinal Cord Damage Caused By Medical Negligence

    Failure To Diagnose Unstable Cervical Fracture

    Significant six-figure recovery for a Blair County man who suffered spinal cord damage when his doctors failed to discover an unstable cervical fracture and unwisely permitted him to be up and out of bed walking around. The walking caused the fracture to shift and cause bruising of the spinal cord.
     
    Unstable vertebral fractures are a very serious problem for trauma patients. The vertebrae are circular-shaped, bony structure, which are stacked one on top of the other from the neck down to the tailbone and which surround the spinal cord. When you have a fracture of one of these vertebral bodies, which is “unstable” that means the bone fragments could shift or move at any time and hit the spinal cord. To prevent that from happening, it is very important that patients with unstable vertebral fractures be kept on strict bed rest and often with traction.
     
    The first step in treating spinal fractures is, of course, to correctly diagnose them. In other words, you have to have an imaging study, typically a CT scan, which is correctly interpreted by the radiologist. They have to look at the fracture lines and the general configuration of the bones to figure out if the fracture is stable or unstable. Once it is determined to be unstable, then it is the trauma doctor’s responsibility to make sure that the patient is not up walking around.
     
    In this case, there was a miscommunication between the trauma doctor and the surgeon as to whether it was ok for the patient to be up and out of bed. Their instructions to the hospital staff were confusing and, as a result, a therapist came into the patient’s room thinking it was ok to get the patient out of bed and exercise him and, as soon as they did so, the fragments of the fracture apparently shifted because the patient said he immediately felt something like an electric shock down his spine. The doctor ordered another CT scan and indeed it showed that the fracture had shifted and was now pressing on the cord. The patient required emergency surgery, but he was still left with permanent weakness in the legs and balance problems. This case points up the importance of communication between all people on the treatment team.
     
    One of the things that made this case challenging from the damage standpoint was that this man had a mild case of Parkinson’s disease before he suffered the vertebral fracture. Therefore, we had to separate out which part of his difficulty in walking and balance was due to the spinal cord injury as opposed to the Parkinson’s. In order to do that, we relied on his prior records as well as the abrupt change in his condition, which happened after he was improperly raised up out of bed with the unstable fracture.

    Largest verdict in Cambria County

    A woman from Johnstown, Cambria County, suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of a ruptured disk pressing on the spinal cord causing a condition known as cauda equina syndrome. The surgeon who was attending to her in the hospital did not discover the spinal cord compression until it was too late. This woman suffered permanent impairment of her bowel and bladder function and also nerve damage to her leg. A jury in Cambria County returned a verdict of $600,000 which, at the time, was the largest verdict ever in that county.

    Very significant six-figure recovery

    An elderly woman from Aliquippa, Beaver County, was undergoing surgery on her back. After the surgery, she developed a collection of blood around the spinal cord known as an epidural hematoma. Unfortunately, the doctors did not discover the presence of that hematoma soon enough and, as a result, her lower legs became paralyzed. We obtained a very significant six-figure recovery on behalf of this woman.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    A young woman from Pittsburgh suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of being thrown from a horse. We filed a claim against the owner of the horse on the ground that riders should have been required to wear helmets and also because the horse was not properly supervised. A significant six-figure recovery, the maximum available insurance, was obtained on her behalf.

    Large six-figure award

    A young girl from Uniontown, Fayette County, went into the emergency room with complaints of back pain that should have alerted the doctors to the possibility that she had a disk compressing on her spinal cord injury. They ignored those warning signs for several days and by the time they finally discovered the problem, the young lady had suffered permanent damage to her bowel and bladder function. We obtained a large six-figure award on her behalf.

    Significant recovery

    A young, single man from Allegheny County was tragically injured when he dove into a backyard swimming pool and suffered a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed and wheelchair-bound. We filed a claim against the company that manufactured and sold the pool on the ground that their advertising had enticed people to dive head-first into pools when they knew it was unsafe and also because the pool was not sold with appropriate signs warning against head-first diving. A significant recovery was obtained for this man to provide for lifetime needs that he would have.

    Six-figure recovery for failure to diagnose a heart problem

    Failure to diagnose a heart problem

    One of the main obligations in an emergency room is to properly “triage” a patient and try to figure out generally what is causing their complaints. In this case, a 68-year-old woman, who had a known history of heart disease, came into the emergency room with complaints of pain in her left side, left arm and leg. She was admitted to the hospital and blood work was done to check several things including something called cardiac enzymes. If these enzymes are elevated in blood work, it is generally an indication that the heart is experiencing some damage. In her case, the enzymes were elevated, but it does not appear that her doctor took notice of the test results. Also, later that day an EKG was done which showed an abnormally low ejection fraction which measures the pumping ability of the heart, but again, it does not appear that the physician who ordered these tests ever saw, or paid attention to, the abnormal results. Obviously, it is the obligation of all physicians to be aware of blood work and other tests which they order. In this case, the doctor apparently overlooked the results. Had he seen them, he would have suspected a heart problem and ordered the patient to be examined by a heart specialist. (That type of physician is called a cardiologist.) Unfortunately, no heart specialist was ever involved in the patient’s case, and she suffered a cardiac arrest a few days later and died.
     
    We had the record independently reviewed by a cardiologist who said that the abnormal blood work and abnormal EKG should have prompted an examination by a cardiologist who would have started medication and done a cardiac catheterization on the patient. This likely would have led to the discovery of a blocked artery which could have been treated with a cardiac stent.
     
    Although the patient was not employed, she took care of the household occupied by her and her disabled husband who was suffering with issues of dementia. After his wife’s death, the husband had to move in with his daughter.

    High six-figure settlement

    Pulmonary Embolus Wrongful Death Case Result

    Settlement for the family of an elderly woman who had died due to failure to treat a pulmonary embolus at a Pittsburgh hospital. The woman had a history of prior pulmonary embolus and came into the hospital with signs and symptoms of another one, but she was not given blood-thinning medication such as heparin soon enough and ended up dying one day after arriving at the hospital.

    What Is A Pulmonary Embolism?

    A pulmonary embolus is a blood clot that generally starts in the leg and then breaks free and travels to the lung. It can often cause sudden and unexpected death. In most cases, the only prior symptoms are perhaps some shortness of breath and swelling in one of the legs. Therefore, it is important that doctors have a high index of suspicion and quickly order tests that can determine whether the patient, in fact, has blood clots in the legs or smaller clots that have broken free and already begun to travel to the lung. The best test to detect clots in the leg is an ultrasound, which is a noninvasive test. If clots are detected, the best line of treatment is to administer blood-thinning drugs such as heparin. Those drugs do not necessarily dissolve existing clots, but they prevent more clots from forming and therefore adding to the so-called clot burden. For some patients, if it is not practical to use blood-thinning drugs, the doctor may surgically insert a filter that prevents any migrating clots from getting to the lung, but that is used less frequently than blood thinners.

    Emergency Room Doctors Must Be Looking For Pulmonary Embolus

    In this particular case, when the elderly woman arrived at the emergency room, the doctors suspected that she may have a pulmonary embolus, but they did not use blood thinners because they mistakenly thought that she was allergic to them. That mistake came about because an earlier doctor who had treated the patient had incorrectly indicated that she was allergic to heparin when, in fact, lab tests showed that she was not allergic to the drug. Unfortunately, the doctor apparently never saw the lab test and, therefore, when the new doctors went back and looked at her old records, it still said that she was allergic to heparin. Therefore, they did not administer this blood-thinning agent nor did they give her any other treatment for a pulmonary embolus such as a substitute drug or a filter. In essence, she got virtually no treatment and ended up dying the next day.
     
    The hospital acknowledged that there was a mistake made about the heparin, but they claimed that the heparin probably would not have done any good because the woman was already taking another blood thinner, Coumadin, and despite using that drug, she still developed blood clots. Our response was that her chances of surviving would have been much better had she gotten the heparin. In fact, the doctors had said they would have given her heparin if they knew she was not allergic to it because they thought it wouldhelp her chances.

    Wrongful Death Damages For Loss Of Parent

    Although this woman was elderly and had no surviving spouse, she did have two adult children, and they were entitled to claim wrongful death damages for the loss of the relationship with their mother. As with many cases involving elderly people, was a challenge to prove damages in the case. Typically, they are not employed, and if they do not have a surviving husband/wife, it limits how much can be claimed in the way of damages. If there are minor children, i.e., children under the age of 18, then there are significant damages when a parent dies. In this case, the children were grown adults and were no longer dependent on their mother for financial support. Nevertheless, the law recognizes that there is a loss of a relationship that even an adult child experiences, and that was certainly part of our wrongful death claim in this case.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    Lung Injury Case

    Exposure To Thiophosphoryl Chloride

    Significant six-figure recovery for a Blair County woman whose husband died due to lung damage resulting from exposure to toxic chemicals at work. The claim was brought against a doctor for failing to diagnose the injury to the lung in a timely fashion.
     
    The chemical involved in this case was Thiophosphoryl Chloride. After the exposure, the worker was showered down at work and then sent to a local doctor to be examined. He was having a little bit of trouble breathing at that time, but the doctor did not believe it was necessary to send him to the hospital because he actually seemed to get better after he stayed in the office a few hours. He then sent the man home. When he arrived home, the worker went to bed, and then around eight hours later, his wife found him dead in his bed. According to an autopsy, he suffered a delayed reaction in his lungs called pulmonary edema which, over time, gradually caused his lungs to stop working.
     
    Our argument in the case was that the company doctor, rather than sending the worker home, should have sent him to a local Emergency Room where he could be observed over a matter of hours. It was our contention that the doctor should have been aware that when people inhale toxic chemicals, it can cause a delayed reaction in the lungs. One of the challenges we faced in the case was that there had never been another death caused by exposure to this chemical due to a delayed reaction in the lungs. After this case, however, OSHA started to warn chemical plants about this possibility.
     
    There were some indications in this case that the worker’s employer was at fault for causing him to be exposed to this chemical, but under Pennsylvania law, a worker cannot sue employer. The only right they have is to receive workers’ compensation.
     
    As damages in this wrongful death claim, we sought recovery of future wages as well as damages for his wife’s loss of “society and companionship” of her husband. These are typical damages claimed in a wrongful death case where there is a surviving spouse.

    A high six-figure recovery

    Cardiac Ablation Wrongful Death Case

    A high six-figure recovery for a cardiac malpractice case that caused the death of a man from Pittsburgh’s North Hills. He died from bleeding following a cardiac ablation. The bleeding occurred around the heart and is often referred to as “cardiac tamponade.” Had the doctors taken a picture of the heart with an echocardiogram, the bleeding could have been discovered before the patient died.

    What Is A cardiac Ablation?

    Cardiac ablation is a procedure often used to treat patients who have some abnormality in the electrical system of their heart that causes irregular heart rhythms and may also cause people to pass out. During the ablation, the doctor uses an instrument to burn or freeze certain nodes or electrical pathways in the heart to try to correct the abnormality. There is a risk of bleeding that can occur after the ablation, and that is exactly what happened in this case. It is important that these patients be watched carefully after the procedure. If there is any suspicion at all of bleeding, the best test to do is an echocardiogram. In this case, the doctor said that they did not think there were any signs or symptoms suggesting that the patient was having bleeding around the heart after the ablation, but the experts that we had retained said otherwise. Unfortunately, this patient was sent home without an echocardiogram being done.
     
    He was at home for a few days and then died suddenly while resting in a chair. When patients are sent home from the hospital and they later die, the doctor or hospital often argues that the family should have brought the patient back to the emergency room if he or she was not feeling well, i.e., they argue that the family was contributively negligent. However, we always point out that the family trusted the doctor when their loved one was discharged and did not think that there was anything bad that was going to happen.
     
    One of the other challenges in this case was that this patient, although he was only approximately 60 years of age, had retired from his work because of other health issues. The retirement eliminated any claim we would have had for lost earnings or diminished earning capacity, but we were still able to claim that the household lost the value of his Social Security income. Also, as in any wrongful death case where there is a surviving spouse, we also claimed that there was a “loss of consortium,” i.e., the loss of the husband-wife relationship that had been built up over a marriage of many years.

    High six-figure settlement

    Death Due to Malfunction of Brain Shunt

    A neurologically disabled woman in her 30s died as a result of a delay in diagnosing a blockage in a brain shunt. This young woman had a chronic condition that caused the build-up of fluid in her brain and the purpose of the shunt was to drain that fluid from the brain to her abdomen where it could be gradually absorbed into the body. Unfortunately, the shunt developed a blockage and the fluid could not be drained and, therefore, pressure built up inside her brain and ultimately led to her death. The medical mistake happened when a doctor who looked at a CT scan done on her abdomen and brain failed to detect signs suggesting that the shunt was blocked. Had the CT been correctly interpreted, the surgeon could have been notified and the situation could have been corrected with a new shunt.
     
    Errors involving the mis-reading of radiology films such as x-rays or CT scans often occur because doctors do not pay close enough attention to the reason the test was ordered. In this case, the “indications” listed by the ordering physician included the possibility that there was a malfunction of the shunt. Therefore, the radiologist interpreting the films should have paid particular attention to any signs of shunt blockage.
     
    Although this claim led to the patient’s death, the recovery was limited by the fact that the patient was already disabled and, therefore, there was no claim for economic loss. Additionally, she was not married and had no children. Thus, the only damages available under Pennsylvania law were for the parents loss of their relationship with the daughter.

    Large six-figure recovery

    Suicide Wrongful Death Case

    A young woman in her twenties with a long history of mental health problems and suicide attempts was admitted to a psychiatric ward after yet another suicide attempt. While in the hospital, she somehow came into possession of a plastic bag and succeeded in suffocating herself. Her parents filed a lawsuit against the hospital claiming that the staff on the psych unit failed to appropriately monitor their daughter. When people are admitted to psychiatric units after attempting suicide, the top priority of the staff is to keep the patient under close watch and to also make sure that they do not have access to objects that could be used to take their own life. Typically, the staff in a psychiatric unit is required to check on a patient at least every 15 minutes. In this case, there was a long gap in time where no one had checked on the patient and when someone finally came into her room, they found her lying on the bathroom floor with a plastic bag over her head. She apparently had taken the plastic bag from an unlocked supply closet.
     
    Suicide cases normally present particular challenges, but this case was more compelling because the patient had already demonstrated through her prior attempts that she was serious about taking her life and, therefore, the hospital staff should have been watching her extremely closely.
     
    The damages available in this case were somewhat limited because the young woman was not employed, nor was she married or the mother of any children. She lived at home with her parents and, therefore, the primary claim for damage was for the parents’ loss of their relationship with their daughter.

    Jury verdict of $500,000

    A factory worker from Verona suffered a ruptured disk when the chain on a forklift, which was supporting him broke causing him to crash to the floor and severely jolting his back. We filed a defective product claim against Clark Equipment, the manufacturer of the forklift on the ground that they had not given proper instructions about how to check for weakness in the chain and when to replace it. A jury returned a verdict of $500,000 on behalf of this man.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    Exposure To Thiophosphoryl Chloride

    Recovery for a Blair County woman whose husband died due to lung damage resulting from exposure to toxic chemicals at work. The claim was brought against a doctor for failing to diagnose the injury to the lung in a timely fashion.
     
    The chemical involved in this case was Thiophosphoryl Chloride. After the exposure, the worker was showered down at work and then sent to a local doctor to be examined. He was having a little bit of trouble breathing at that time, but the doctor did not believe it was necessary to send him to the hospital because he actually seemed to get better after he stayed in the office a few hours. He then sent the man home. When he arrived home, the worker went to bed, and then around eight hours later, his wife found him dead in his bed. According to an autopsy, he suffered a delayed reaction in his lungs called pulmonary edema which, over time, gradually caused his lungs to stop working.
     
    Our argument in the case was that the company doctor, rather than sending the worker home, should have sent him to a local Emergency Room where he could be observed over a matter of hours. It was our contention that the doctor should have been aware that when people inhale toxic chemicals, it can cause a delayed reaction in the lungs. One of the challenges we faced in the case was that there had never been another death caused by exposure to this chemical due to a delayed reaction in the lungs. After this case, however, OSHA started to warn chemical plants about this possibility.
     
    There were some indications in this case that the worker’s employer was at fault for causing him to be exposed to this chemical, but under Pennsylvania law, a worker cannot sue employer. The only right they have is to receive workers’ compensation.
     
    As damages in this wrongful death claim, we sought recovery of future wages as well as damages for his wife’s loss of “society and companionship” of her husband. These are typical damages claimed in a wrongful death case where there is a surviving spouse.

    A high six-figure recovery

    Recovery for a young man injured by a piece of equipment in an underground mining accident that occurred near Washington, PA. The mine had not properly installed and inspected the equipment, and it broke loose during mining operations and slammed into the abdomen of this young man and pinned him against the mine wall. He ended up with two significant abdominal surgeries and several months of pain and recovery.

    Very significant six-figure recovery

    A young man from Pittsburgh suffered a traumatic brain injury when he was hit in the head with a concrete block at a construction site. The construction block was thrown out of a window by another worker as this gentleman walked around the exterior of the house. Although he recovered to return to work after several weeks in the hospital, he is still bothered by problems with memory and concentration. We obtained a very significant six-figure recovery on his behalf.

    Very significant six-figure recovery

    A 50-year-old man from Bridgeville suffered a serious traumatic brain injury when he fell from a Genie vertical lift. The accident was caused by an improper balancing and stability mechanism in the Genie Man Lift. We obtained a very significant six-figure recovery for this gentleman who was unable to return to former his work.

    Six-figure award

    A young woman from Pittsburgh was hit by a drunk driver on Baum Boulevard causing her leg to be pinned under the steering wheel and fracturing her femur. She had to undergo surgery for the permanent placement of a rod in her leg. An award well into six figures was obtained on her behalf.

    Drunk Driver Accidents

    Motorcycle Accidents

    Significant Six-figure Recovery

    A young man from Pittsburgh was riding his bicycle through North Park when he was struck by a car traveling behind him. The driver of the car claimed that the bicycle was not on the designated bike path, but we were able to show that, under Pennsylvania law, the bicyclist has the right-of-way as long as he is traveling on the paved portion of the road and was in front of the car. The bicyclist suffered a very serious elbow fracture and in a personal injury claim against the motor vehicle, we made a significant six-figure recovery on his behalf.

    Large Six-figure Recovery

    A young boy from Uniontown suffered serious orthopedic injuries when he was hit after getting off a school bus. We filed a personal injury claim against the private company that provided the transportation service to the school district and were able to establish that the driver did not follow proper procedures in discharging passengers. We obtained a significant six-figure recovery on the boy’s behalf.

    Six-figure Jury Verdict

    An elderly man from Pittsburgh suffered severe abdominal injuries when he was struck by a car while crossing the Boulevard of the Allies in Pittsburgh. Even though the driver of the car had the green light, we were able to prove that the driver had more than enough time to see the elderly man crossing the road and should have been able to stop in time to prevent the accident. The jury in a personal injury lawsuit returned a large six-figure verdict in favor of this man.

    Large Six-figure Settlement

    A married man from McKeesport was fatally injured in a car accident when a young man with a poor driving record crossed the center line and crashed head-on into his vehicle. We filed a wrongful death claim and obtained a large six-figure recovery representing the maximum available insurance.

    Large Six-figure Recovery

    A middle-aged woman from Pittsburgh suffered serious arm and back injuries when her vehicle was hit by a truck on Route 8 in Hampton Township. We obtained a very significant six-figure recovery on her behalf.

    Very Significant Six-figure Award

    A young college graduate from the North Hills suffered significant orthopedic injuries when his leg was run over by a car as he walked along the side of the road. We obtained a very significant six-figure award on his behalf.

    Maximum Insurance Available

    A woman from Pittsburgh was fatally injured in an automobile accident on Route 19 in West View. A six-figure recovery representing the maximum insurance available was made on behalf of her family.

    Maximum Six-figure Settlement

    An elderly woman from Pittsburgh died in a motor vehicle accident caused by a careless driver who crossed the center line and hit her. We obtained a maximum six-figure recovery on behalf of her adult child.

    Large Six-figure Settlement

    A mother and her pregnant daughter were tragically killed when a driver “blacked out” due to seizures and crashed into the rear of their car near Century III Mall in Allegheny County. We obtained a large six-figure recovery representing the maximum insurance available under the state law to compensate the families of these loved ones.

    Maximum Recovery Permitted By PA State Law

    A Pittsburgh man in his mid-50s was seriously injured on a Port Authority bus, which was hit by another bus traveling in the opposite direction, crossing the center line. We filed a claim against the Port Authority of Allegheny County and obtained the maximum recovery permitted under the state law.

    Significant Six-figure Recovery

    A man from Uniontown was seriously injured by a hit-and-run driver. The accident caused dislocated shoulder, fractured jaw and fractured femur. A recovery well in excess of six figures was covered on behalf of this man.

    Maximum Underinsured Motorist Benefits Available

    A high school boy from Pittsburgh was fatally injured while riding his bike in Forest Hills. We filed a claim against the driver of the vehicle who caused the accident and obtained a maximum recovery on behalf of this boy’s parents. In addition to a maximum recovery against the other driver, we also recovered the maximum underinsured motorist benefits available.

    Large Six-figure Award

    A young man from Allegheny County was seriously injured when a dump truck struck his car causing multiple orthopedic injuries. This young man missed several weeks of work and was in the hospital for an extended period of time. We obtained a significant six-figure award on his behalf.

    Recovered Insurance Policy Limit

    An anesthesiologist from Altoona suffered a closed head injury and traumatic brain injury in a motor vehicle accident caused by a negligent truck driver. The injuries impaired the physician’s ability to continue performing her regular work. We obtained a recovery representing the maximum insurance available from the other driver as well as additional underinsurance available under the physician’s policy.

    Large Six-figure Recovery

    An elderly man from Waynesburg was seriously injured in a car accident when a pizza delivery driver who was moving too fast crossed the center line and slammed into his vehicle. His most serious injury was to his lower leg, and he eventually had to have it amputated below the knee. We filed a claim against the pizza shop on the ground that the driver had a known history of traffic violations and that they should have monitored him more closely. We obtained a large six-figure recovery on behalf of this man.

    Large Six-figure Settlement 

    A retired real estate agent from Mt. Lebanon was struck and killed by a truck as she crossed the Boulevard of the Allies in Pittsburgh. By using accident reconstruction evidence, we were able to prove that the truck driver should have had an opportunity to see this pedestrian well in advance of hitting her even though it was nighttime. As a result, we received a large six-figure aware for her widowed husband.

    Large Six-figure Settlement

    An 85-year-old man from Uniontown, Fayette County, was struck and killed by a pizza delivery driver as he crossed the street after parking his car. The pizza delivery driver was speeding and driving without a proper license. We obtained a large six-figure settlement for John’s 90-year-old wife and his son.

    Large Six-figure Recovery

    A 60-year-old western Pennsylvania man died in a turnpike crash when a car made an illegal turn through a break in a median barrier. A lawsuit was filed against the driver and also against the Turnpike Commission for failing to eliminate the break in the barrier. A large six-figure recovery was obtained for the widow of this gentleman.

    Significant Six-figure Settlement

    A retired woman from Pittsburgh suffered serious orthopedic injuries (leg and pelvic fractures) when a young man ran a red light and crashed into her car on Forbes Avenue. She spent several weeks in Presbyterian and Magee Women’s Hospital. A significant six-figure award was obtained on her behalf.

    Six-figure Settlement

    A retired man from Waynesburg, Greene County, was struck by a car while crossing the road and suffered a serious hip fracture, which required surgery. The driver who hit this pedestrian claimed that the pedestrian was at fault. We successfully proved otherwise and obtained a six-figure settlement for the injured man.

    Significant six-figure recovery for misinterpreted EKG

    A middle-aged man from Pittsburgh suffered a heart attack a few months after visiting his doctor and being given a “clean bill of health.” It turns out that the doctor failed to discover that this man had an abnormal EKG with evidence of blocked coronary arteries. (The medical term is “coronary atherosclerosis.”) If the blocked arteries had been discovered, this gentleman would have had bypass surgery or a simple stent placed, either of which would have prevented the heart attack. Although he survived, he lost a lot of energy as a result of the heart attack. We filed a medical malpractice claim against the cardiologist who mis-read the EKG, and our attorneys obtained a significant six-figure recovery on this man’s behalf.

    Six-figure recovery for ER heart attack

    A retired man from Pittsburgh entered the Emergency Room at Mercy Hospital complaining of chest pains. Unfortunately, he sat in the ER for a long time before anyone saw him. By that time, he had suffered a heart attack and had permanent damage to his heart and died a few days later. We filed a claim against the hospital on the ground that they let the man sit too long in the ER. A significant six-figure recovery was obtained on behalf of his widow.

    Large six-figure award for improper lumbar disk removal

    A 49-year-old man from Penn Hills went into Presbyterian University Hospital for lumbar disk surgery, and somehow the wrong disk was removed. He had to undergo two additional surgeries and as a result of those extra operations, he suffered nerve damage which left his with chronic pain in his back and abdomen as well as his right leg. A large six-figure award was obtained against the hospital and the responsible doctors as a result of the medical malpractice claim that we filed.

    Significant six-figure recovery for unnecessary mastectomy

    An elderly woman from Beaver County went into the hospital to have a mastectomy for breast cancer. Due to a series of mistakes by the nurses and doctors, the surgeon removed the wrong breast. Although this did not affect the woman’s recovery and prognosis from the breast cancer, we filed a medical malpractice claim and obtained a very large six-figure award for the trauma of her having an unnecessary mastectomy.

    Significant recovery for Listera-related loss

    A young expectant mother from Pittsburgh’s South Hills developed an infection during pregnancy known as Listera. Her obstetrician, however, “missed” the signs of infection, and it went on to cause the death of the baby. Relying on expert witnesses in the field of infectious disease, we were able to obtain a significant recovery for this young expectant mother.

    Six-figure recovery for hospital error causing infant death

    A young pregnant woman from Altoona went to the hospital with signs suggesting that she was in labor, but she was sent home under the mistaken belief that she was just having abdominal pains. While she was at home, she started to give birth to a premature infant. She tried to rush back to the hospital, but the infant died before she would return. We filed a claim against the hospital on the ground that they should have recognized that the mother was in labor when she first came to the hospital, and she should have been admitted to the hospital and given her drugs to stop the premature labor. We obtained a very significant six-figure recovery on behalf of this woman.

    Six-figure recovery for young expectant mother

    A young pregnant woman from Pittsburgh delivered a stillborn child. There were problems during the end of the pregnancy that should have been discovered by the obstetrician at a time when it would have been possible to prevent the stillbirth. Unfortunately, that did not happen. We obtained a significant six-figure award on behalf of this young woman.

    A significant six-figure recovery for the parents of a stillborn baby girl

    Failure to diagnose fetal distress

    The pregnant mother reported to the hospital at 39 weeks gestation. It appeared that she was going into labor and fetal monitoring was started on the mother and the fetus. Over the course of three or four hours, however, the fetal monitoring equipment showed that the baby in the uterus was “in distress,” but this was not noticed by the nursing staff and/or reported to the doctor. Sadly, when the child was delivered a few hours later, she was stillborn.
     
    Electronic fetal monitoring is an important part of the care of any woman who is in labor or about to go into labor. The equipment involves a belt that is placed around the mother’s stomach which has sensing devices that will record the contractions of the mother and the baby’s heart beat. The baby’s heart rate and how it responds to contractions of the mother are important indicators of the well-being of the fetus. If the heart rate begins to appear to be abnormal, the baby is said to be in “fetal distress,” and at that point important decisions have to be made by the doctor. For example, is the fetal distress simply mild and can be successfully treated with just a change in position of the mother or the administration of oxygen, etc? Or, is the distress more severe, in which case it is mandatory that the baby be delivered immediately through Cesarean section. This is the critical decision for the doctor, and it is one that needs to be made promptly because if the fetal distress is an indication that there is an interruption in the baby’s oxygen supply, then the longer that condition goes on, the more harm the child can suffer. Fetal distress can cause death to the fetus, but even if they survive they are often left with devastating injuries such as quadriplegia if the lack of oxygen supply lasted too long.
     
    In this particular case, when the fetal distress occurred, the nursing staff and her doctor did not respond appropriately, and the distress went on so long that the baby died in utero.

    High six-figure recovery for failure to detect excess brain fluid in young boy

    A severely mentally disabled boy from Washington, PA, went into the Emergency Room at Washington Hospital with signs and symptoms suggesting that he had an abnormal build up of fluid on his brain. Unfortunately, the Emergency Room physician and the radiologist who read a CT scan of the child’s brain failed to detect the excess fluid. If the fluid had been seen, it could have been safely drained. Unfortunately, that did not happen and the child died a few days later. Even though the child was already severely disable before this incident, we obtained a significant six-figure recovery on behalf of the parents in a medical malpractice claim filed against the hospital.

    Large six-figure recovery

    Suicide Wrongful Death Case

    A young woman in her twenties with a long history of mental health problems and suicide attempts was admitted to a psychiatric ward after yet another suicide attempt. While in the hospital, she somehow came into possession of a plastic bag and succeeded in suffocating herself. Her parents filed a lawsuit against the hospital claiming that the staff on the psych unit failed to appropriately monitor their daughter. When people are admitted to psychiatric units after attempting suicide, the top priority of the staff is to keep the patient under close watch and to also make sure that they do not have access to objects that could be used to take their own life. Typically, the staff in a psychiatric unit is required to check on a patient at least every 15 minutes. In this case, there was a long gap in time where no one had checked on the patient and when someone finally came into her room, they found her lying on the bathroom floor with a plastic bag over her head. She apparently had taken the plastic bag from an unlocked supply closet.
     
    Suicide cases normally present particular challenges, but this case was more compelling because the patient had already demonstrated through her prior attempts that she was serious about taking her life and, therefore, the hospital staff should have been watching her extremely closely.
     
    The damages available in this case were somewhat limited because the young woman was not employed, nor was she married or the mother of any children. She lived at home with her parents and, therefore, the primary claim for damage was for the parents’ loss of their relationship with their daughter.

    Large six-figure recovery

    A 22-year-old woman from Westmoreland County was stabbed to death by a mentally ill patient at a half-way house. The attacker had recently been released from the psychiatric ward at a local mental hospital. We filed a claim against the physicians at the state hospital saying that they had not adequately treated the person and had released her when they knew, or should have known, that this person had homicidal tendencies. On behalf of the family of the young girl, we received a large six-figure recovery from the state.

    Large six-figure award

    An elderly man from McKeesport with Alzheimer’s disease suffered a fall at a local hospital, which eventually led to his death. The nursing staff should have known that he was prone to fall and should have taken further precaution by using a bed alarm and other safety devices. In a wrongful death and medical malpractice claim, we were able to establish that the hospital did not follow some of its own safety procedures in preventing falls, and eventually obtained a large six-figure award for the daughter of this elderly man.

    Significant recovery

    An elderly man suffered serious orthopedic injuries in a nursing home when a piece of equipment that was lifting him broke causing him to fall to the floor. We successfully proved that both the nursing home and the manufacturer of the equipment were at fault and resolved the claim in favor of the family.

    Large six-figure award

    An elderly woman was a patient at a Pittsburgh hospital when she suffered a fall while trying to go to the bathroom. She ended up with a head injury, which eventually caused a stroke and her death one week later. We successfully filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the nurses and the hospital that were responsible for the fall, and a large six-figure award was obtained for the patient’s heirs.

    Large, six-figure settlement

    An elderly woman from Erie, Pennsylvania, who was a resident of a nursing home suffered a fall in the hallway when she was knocked over by a swinging door. The fall caused a hip fracture that required surgery to repair. Unfortunately, the elderly woman died one week after surgery. We successfully proved that the nursing home knew of other, similar accidents and should have changed the design of the door long ago in order to prevent accidents of this sort. A large, six-figure settlement was obtained as a result of the wrongful death claim we filed.

    Large six-figure award

    An elderly man from McKeesport with Alzheimer’s disease suffered a fall at McKeesport Hospital, which eventually led to his death. The nursing staff should have known that he was prone to fall and should have taken further precaution by using a bed alarm and other safety devices. In a wrongful death and medical malpractice claim, we were able to establish that the hospital did not follow some of its own safety procedures in preventing falls, and eventually obtained a large six-figure award for the daughter of this elderly man.

    Undisclosed Award

    An elderly man suffered serious orthopedic injuries in a nursing home when a piece of equipment that was lifting him broke causing him to fall to the floor. We successfully proved that both the nursing home and the manufacturer of the equipment were at fault and resolved the claim in favor of the family.

    Large, six-figure settlement

    An elderly woman from Erie, Pennsylvania, who was a resident of a nursing home suffered a fall in the hallway when she was knocked over by a swinging door. The fall caused a hip fracture, which required surgery to repair. Unfortunately, the elderly woman died one week after the surgery. We successfully proved that the nursing home knew of other, similar accidents and should have changed the design of the door long ago in order to prevent accidents of this sort. A large, six-figure settlement was obtained as a result of the wrongful death claim we filed.

    Significant six-figure award

    An elderly woman who was a resident of a personal care home died as a result of burns she received after wandering away from her room and falling next to a radiator where she was discovered hours later. We filed a personal injury claim against the owners of the nursing home on the ground that they should have been supervising this woman much more closely since she had a known habit of wandering away from her home. We obtain a significant six-figure award on behalf of her family.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    A retired man from Crawford County was taken to a hospital in Meadville with signs of a ruptured aortic aneurysm. An echocardiogram was done that showed the aneurysm, but the doctor who read the echo did not see that. As a result, the aneurysm was not repaired and the gentleman bled to death within 24 hours. If the echocardiogram had been read properly, the aneurysm could have been repaired. After we filed a medical malpractice claim, a significant six-figure recovery was obtained on behalf of this man’s widow.

    Large six-figure settlement

    A retired man from Pittsburgh entered a Monroeville hospital for bowel surgery. When his belly was opened to repair the bowel, the surgeon should have also seen that he had an aortic aneurysm in the same area that was in need of immediate repair. However, the surgeon never saw the aneurysm. Three days later, the man suffered a ruptured aneurysm and bled to death. We successfully proved that the doctor should have seen the aneurysm during the original surgery, and if he had repaired it, it never would have ruptured and the patient would be alive today. A large six-figure settlement was obtained for the patient’s widow after the filing of a medical malpractice case.

    Six-figure recovery

    An elderly woman from Waynesburg, Greene County, died as a result of a delay in taking her to surgery as a result of a ruptured colon. The hospital initially argued that her stomach problems were not severe enough to warrant surgery, but we eventually made a recovery well into six figures on behalf of this woman’s surviving children.

    Significant six-figure recovery 

    An elderly woman from Johnstown, Cambria County, died as a result of a delay in taking her to surgery to treat gangrene in her colon. We filed a claim against the surgeon on the ground that he should have operated on the patient sooner. A significant six-figure recovery was obtained on behalf of this woman’s husband.

    Significant six-figure award

    An elderly woman from Pittsburgh’s North Hills suffered an injury to her ureter while undergoing a cystoscopy for treatment of a kidney stone. The injury to the ureter led to a very prolonged hospitalization and three additional surgeries. With the help of an independent urology expert, we filed a medical malpractice claim and were able to establish that the additional surgeries and the lengthy hospital stay could have been avoided if the surgeon had discovered and treated the original injury to the ureter much earlier on. We obtained a significant six-figure award on her behalf.

    Six-figure recovery

    A middle-aged woman from Bedford County developed tuberculosis peritonitis because a doctor failed to properly interpret a possible tuberculosis skin test. As a result of the error, the tuberculosis spread to her abdomen and required the woman to undergo a hysterectomy. We filed a medical malpractice claim against the physician on the ground that treatment could have been provided for the tuberculosis before it spread to the abdomen if the skin test had been properly interpreted. We obtained a six-figure recovery on her behalf.

    Significant six-figure award

    A retired man from Erie died from excessive bleeding around the heart following heart valve replacement surgery. The collection of blood around the heart is referred to as a pericardial effusion, which, if not drained soon enough, will apply pressure on the outside of the heart and eventually stop it from beating. We filed a medical malpractice claim against the surgeon at an Erie Hospital on the ground that poor surgical technique caused the bleeding, and, furthermore, that the doctor did not discover and treat the bleeding soon enough. We obtained a significant six-figure award on behalf of his widow.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    An elderly woman from Greensburg went to the ER and was found to have a very low blood count, a condition known as anemia. She was sent to her family doctor to investigate the anemia. However, the family doctor never took her blood pressure or did any investigation to see what could be causing the low blood count. It turned out the woman had intestinal bleeding, but that was never detected until it was too late, and the woman died from excessive bleeding. We filed a medical malpractice claim and wrongful death claim against the physician on the ground that he would have discovered the internal bleeding ulcer if he would have taken the patient’s blood pressure and done a little more investigation into the patient’s low blood count. A significant six-figure recovery was obtained for this woman’s husband.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    An elderly man from Pennsylvania went into a Harrisburg Hospital to have his lung removed. The surgery went well. However, after surgery he started to develop pneumonia, but his doctors did not realize that and sent him home without checking on his condition before he was discharged. Unfortunately, the pneumonia progressed while he was at home and he died shortly after discharge. The attorneys at Gismondi & Associates filed a medical malpractice and wrongful death claim against the physician who discharged this gentleman too early, and we received a significant six-figure recovery for his widow.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    A middle-aged man from Pittsburgh suffered a heart attack a few months after visiting his doctor and being given a “clean bill of health.” It turns out that the doctor failed to discover that this man had an abnormal EKG with evidence of blocked coronary arteries. (The medical term is “coronary atherosclerosis”) If the blocked arteries had been discovered, this gentleman would have had bypass surgery or a simple stent placed, either of which would have prevented the heart attack. Although he survived, he lost a lot of energy as a result of the heart attack. We filed a medical malpractice claim against the cardiologist who misread the EKG, and our attorneys obtained a significant six-figure recovery on this man’s behalf.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    A middle-aged man from Somerset County had a mole removed from his back but, rather than having the mole tested, the doctor threw the tissue in the wastebasket! Two years later, this man was found to have a malignant melanoma at that same site. Unfortunately, because of the delay in discovering the melanoma, this man had a shortened life expectancy. The attorneys of Gismondi & Associates filed a medical malpractice claim on his behalf. Although he was still living at the time of the legal claim, we were able to obtain a significant six-figure recovery on his behalf.

    Verdict of $600,000

    A woman from Johnstown, Cambria County, suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of a ruptured disk pressing on the spinal cord causing a condition known as cauda equina syndrome. The surgeon who was attending to her in the hospital did not discover the spinal cord compression until it was too late. This woman suffered permanent impairment of her bowel and bladder function and also nerve damage to her leg. A jury in Cambria County returned a verdict of $600,000 which, at the time, was the largest verdict ever in that county.

    High six-figure settlement

    Death Due to Malfunction of Brain Shunt

    A neurologically disabled woman in her 30s died as a result of a delay in diagnosing a blockage in a brain shunt. This young woman had a chronic condition that caused the build-up of fluid in her brain and the purpose of the shunt was to drain that fluid from the brain to her abdomen where it could be gradually absorbed into the body. Unfortunately, the shunt developed a blockage and the fluid could not be drained and, therefore, pressure built up inside her brain and ultimately led to her death. The medical mistake happened when a doctor who looked at a CT scan done on her abdomen and brain failed to detect signs suggesting that the shunt was blocked. Had the CT been correctly interpreted, the surgeon could have been notified and the situation could have been corrected with a new shunt.
     
    Errors involving the mis-reading of radiology films such as x-rays or CT scans often occur because doctors do not pay close enough attention to the reason the test was ordered. In this case, the “indications” listed by the ordering physician included the possibility that there was a malfunction of the shunt. Therefore, the radiologist interpreting the films should have paid particular attention to any signs of shunt blockage.
     
    Although this claim led to the patient’s death, the recovery was limited by the fact that the patient was already disabled and, therefore, there was no claim for economic loss. Additionally, she was not married and had no children. Thus, the only damages available under Pennsylvania law were for the parents loss of their relationship with the daughter.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    An elderly woman from Coraopolis died as a result of a delay in diagnosing and treating pneumonia. We obtained a significant six-figure recovery on behalf of her family.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    A middle-aged woman from Pittsburgh suffered a two-year delay in diagnosing a cancerous brain tumor. As a result of the delay, she had to undergo much more aggressive surgery, and her life expectancy may be shortened. We obtained a significant six-figure recovery on her behalf.

    Large six-figure recovery

    A 72-year-old woman from Pittsburgh died in a Pittsburgh hospital due to a delay in diagnosing a pulmonary embolus. If the clot had been discovered sooner, it could have been dissolved before it traveled to the lung and led to the patient’s death. We obtained a large six-figure recovery on behalf of this women’s adult children.

    Significant six-figure award

    A 75-year-old woman from Allegheny County died as a result of a delay in diagnosing a bowel obstruction at a Pittsburgh hospital. The bowel obstruction developed over the course of one week while the patient was in the hospital, but no action was taken to relieve the obstruction. The bowel eventually ruptured and the patient died. A significant six-figure award was obtained on behalf of her surviving husband.

    Six-figure recovery

    A young toddler from Somerset, Pennsylvania, fell from a horse and suffered a leg fracture. When she was taken to the hospital, the doctors failed to notice that she was developing severe swelling inside the leg near the fracture, a condition known as compartment syndrome. If the pressure from the swelling inside the leg is not relieved, the patient can suffer permanent muscle and nerve damage in the lower leg. Unfortunately, because the doctors did not pay attention to the swelling, that is exactly what happened to this young girl. We filed a medical malpractice action against the orthopedic surgeon and the hospital and were able to obtain a recovery well into six figures on behalf of this young child.

    High six-figure verdict

    A husband and father from Beaver County underwent surgery on his back at a local medical center. Following the surgery, a collection of blood started to form around his spinal cord (the medical term is epidural hematoma), but his doctor did not notice it until it was too late. Because the hematoma was not drained, it continued to press on the spinal cord until it caused the patient to have a permanent foot drop and also affected his bowel and bladder function. The attorneys of Gismondi & Associates filed a medical malpractice claim on this man’s behalf, and the jury returned a very high six-figure award.

    Very significant six-figure recovery

    A young adolescent from Beaver County had a condition known as precocious puberty, which causes the early onset of puberty changes such abnormal growth and the development of pubic hair. Ironically, the growth eventually becomes stunted, and the person ends up shorter than they otherwise would have been. Emotional problems are common with the early onset of puberty. When this young girl’s body started to change abnormally, her pediatrician should have discovered this condition with blood tests at a time that medication could have been given to stop the abnormally early onset of puberty. Unfortunately, that did not occur. We obtained a very significant six-figure recovery on behalf of this girl.

    Recovery well in excess of six figures

    A 55-year-old woman from Johnstown, Cambria County, developed a large hemorrhage in her leg as a result of receiving too much of the blood-thinning drugs, heparin and Coumadin. The hemorrhage in her leg resulted in damage to the femoral nerve, which caused her left leg not to function normally. We filed a medical malpractice claim against her doctors on the ground that they were not monitoring her blood work close enough, and if they had done so, they would have reduced the dosage of the blood-thinning medication. We obtained a recovery well in excess of six figures on her behalf.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    An elderly woman from Erie died as a result of bleeding in her brain (the medical term is hemorrhagic stroke) as a result of being given the drug TPA. We filed a claim on the grounds that the hospital never should have administered TPA to her. We obtained a significant six-figure recovery on behalf of her estate.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    A 51-year-old man from Altoona who was already in the hospital after suffering a heart attack died from a second heart attack after he was mistakenly given a huge overdose of the drug Thorozine. Due to mistakes by the nursing staff and the hospital pharmacy, the patient received a dosage three times what was appropriate, and it was injected at a rate of 12 times faster than is recommended. He suffered a fatal cardiac arrest several minutes later. We filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital and pharmacy and received a significant six-figure recovery for this man’s wife.

    Significant six-figure recovery 

    An 80-year-old man from Pittsburgh was on a regular medication called Coumadin, which is a blood thinner. His prescription was filled at a local pharmacy. The pharmacy made a mistake and gave him a dose of Coumadin that was more than double the strength he was supposed to receive. As a result, he developed severe internal bleeding and nearly died. He underwent a major surgery and was hospitalized for nearly a month. Surprisingly, this elderly, vibrant gentleman survived. We obtained a significant six-figure recovery against the pharmacy that improperly filled the prescription.

    Large six-figure recovery 

    A woman from Uniontown was in a Pittsburgh hospital with fractures of the tibia and fibia (lower leg) following an automobile accident. After undergoing surgery for those fractures, she was given antibiotics to protect against possible infection. One of those antibiotics was Gentamicin. However, the doctors gave her too much of the drug, and she developed Gentamicin toxicity, which caused a vestibular injury to her balance mechanism in the inner ear. As a result, she was unsteady on her feet and often developed dizziness with sudden movements of her head. We obtained large six-figure recovery on her behalf.

    Six-figure recovery for improper use of antibiotics

    Antibiotics are often referred to as modern day “wonder drugs” as they have certainly helped to eradicate many infections which otherwise would cause great harm. However, in recent years there has been much concern in the medical profession about the overuse of antibiotics because those drugs have their own side effects. We recently encountered one such situation in which a man recovering from knee surgery was unnecessarily given the antibiotics Clindamycin and Cipro.
     
    One possible side effect of those drugs, particularly Clindamycins, is that the patient develops C-difficile associated diarrhea which, in turn, can cause colitis. That is exactly what happened to this gentleman. He went on to develop colitis from the unnecessary use of antibiotics and ended up being hospitalized for a very lengthy period of time with multiple complications. Although he survived the ordeal, he went through several months of hospitalization and medical care that otherwise would have been avoided.

    Very significant six-figure recovery

    A young pregnant woman from Altoona went to the hospital with signs suggesting that she was in labor, but she was sent home under the mistaken belief that she was just having abdominal pains. While she was at home, she started to give birth to a premature infant. She tried to rush back to the hospital, but the infant died before she could return. We filed a claim against the hospital on the ground that they should have recognized that the mother was in labor when she first came to the hospital, and she should have been admitted to the hospital and given her drugs to stop the premature labor. We obtained a very significant six-figure recovery on behalf of this woman.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    A young expectant mother from Pittsburgh’s South Hills developed an infection during pregnancy known as Listera. Her obstetrician, however, “missed” the signs of infection, and it went on to cause the death of the baby. Relying on expert witnesses in the field of infectious disease, we were able to obtain a significant six-figure recovery for this young expectant mother.

    High six-figure settlement

    Pulmonary Embolus Wrongful Death Case Result

    Settlement for the family of an elderly woman who had died due to failure to treat a pulmonary embolus at a Pittsburgh hospital. The woman had a history of prior pulmonary embolus and came into the hospital with signs and symptoms of another one, but she was not given blood-thinning medication such as heparin soon enough and ended up dying one day after arriving at the hospital.

    What Is A Pulmonary Embolism?

    A pulmonary embolus is a blood clot that generally starts in the leg and then breaks free and travels to the lung. It can often cause sudden and unexpected death. In most cases, the only prior symptoms are perhaps some shortness of breath and swelling in one of the legs. Therefore, it is important that doctors have a high index of suspicion and quickly order tests that can determine whether the patient, in fact, has blood clots in the legs or smaller clots that have broken free and already begun to travel to the lung. The best test to detect clots in the leg is an ultrasound, which is a noninvasive test. If clots are detected, the best line of treatment is to administer blood-thinning drugs such as heparin. Those drugs do not necessarily dissolve existing clots, but they prevent more clots from forming and therefore adding to the so-called clot burden. For some patients, if it is not practical to use blood-thinning drugs, the doctor may surgically insert a filter that prevents any migrating clots from getting to the lung, but that is used less frequently than blood thinners.

    Emergency Room Doctors Must Be Looking For Pulmonary Embolus

    In this particular case, when the elderly woman arrived at the emergency room, the doctors suspected that she may have a pulmonary embolus, but they did not use blood thinners because they mistakenly thought that she was allergic to them. That mistake came about because an earlier doctor who had treated the patient had incorrectly indicated that she was allergic to heparin when, in fact, lab tests showed that she was not allergic to the drug. Unfortunately, the doctor apparently never saw the lab test and, therefore, when the new doctors went back and looked at her old records, it still said that she was allergic to heparin. Therefore, they did not administer this blood-thinning agent nor did they give her any other treatment for a pulmonary embolus such as a substitute drug or a filter. In essence, she got virtually no treatment and ended up dying the next day.
     
    The hospital acknowledged that there was a mistake made about the heparin, but they claimed that the heparin probably would not have done any good because the woman was already taking another blood thinner, Coumadin, and despite using that drug, she still developed blood clots. Our response was that her chances of surviving would have been much better had she gotten the heparin. In fact, the doctors had said they would have given her heparin if they knew she was not allergic to it because they thought it wouldhelp her chances.

    Wrongful Death Damages For Loss Of Parent

    Although this woman was elderly and had no surviving spouse, she did have two adult children, and they were entitled to claim wrongful death damages for the loss of the relationship with their mother. As with many cases involving elderly people, was a challenge to prove damages in the case. Typically, they are not employed, and if they do not have a surviving husband/wife, it limits how much can be claimed in the way of damages. If there are minor children, i.e., children under the age of 18, then there are significant damages when a parent dies. In this case, the children were grown adults and were no longer dependent on their mother for financial support. Nevertheless, the law recognizes that there is a loss of a relationship that even an adult child experiences, and that was certainly part of our wrongful death claim in this case.

    Large six-figure recovery

    A 72-year-old woman from Pittsburgh died in a Pittsburgh hospital due to a delay in diagnosing a pulmonary embolus. If the clot had been discovered sooner, it could have been dissolved before it traveled to the lung and led to the patient’s death. We obtained a large six-figure recovery on behalf of this women’s adult children.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    A retired man from Altoona suffered a severe stroke as a result of internal bleeding caused by improper use of the blood-thinning drug heparin. We obtained a significant six-figure recovery on behalf of this man’s children.

    significant six-figure settlement

    A young teenager was in a Pittsburgh hospital and a tube was incorrectly placed in a blood vessel, causing the child to have a minor stroke. Fortunately, the child made a good recovery but endured several weeks out of school and had a difficult time regaining his normal level of functioning. We obtained a significant six-figure settlement on his behalf.

    Significant six-figure recovery 

    An elderly woman from Erie died as a result of bleeding in her brain (the medical term is hemorrhagic stroke) as a result of being given the drug TPA. We filed a wrongful death claim on the grounds that the hospital never should have administered the TPA to her. We obtained a significant six-figure recovery on behalf of her estate.

    Large six-figure settlement

    A young school teacher from Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, suffered a cardiac arrest and brain damage during a procedure at a Pittsburgh hospital to insert a cardiac defibrillator and pacemaker. A lawsuit filed in Allegheny County claimed that the nurses did not monitor the patient properly during the procedure and should have noticed that her heart was beginning to have problems and correct it. A large, six-figure settlement was obtained for the parents of this unmarried woman.

    Six-figure recovery

    An elderly man from Erie died of a cardiac arrest barely an hour after being discharged from the hospital following prostate surgery. Before he was discharged, the man’s medical condition was not normal, i.e., he had low blood pressure, dizziness, poor color and was feeling faint. We filed a medical malpractice claim against the doctor who was attending to him in the hospital on the ground that he should have never been discharged because it was clear that his condition was not stable at the time. We obtained a six-figure recovery on behalf of his widow.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    A 68-year-old man died as a result of an abnormal heart rhythm that showed up on the recovery after he had surgery on his carotid artery. Unfortunately, no one noticed the abnormal rhythm. If it had been discovered, this patient could have had a pacemaker placed to prevent the fatal events of the following day. We filed a wrongful death and medical malpractice claim against the hospital and the doctors involved in this gentleman’s care and received a significant six-figure recovery on behalf of his widow.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    A middle-aged man from Pittsburgh suffered a heart attack a few months after visiting his doctor and being given a “clean bill of health.” It turns out that the doctor failed to discover that this man had an abnormal EKG with evidence of blocked coronary arteries. (The medical term is “coronary atherosclerosis”) If the blocked arteries had been discovered, this gentleman would have had bypass surgery or a simple stent placed, either of which would have prevented the heart attack. Although he survived, he lost a lot of energy as a result of the heart attack. We filed a medical malpractice claim against the cardiologist who misread the EKG, and our attorneys obtained a significant six-figure recovery on this man’s behalf.

    Significant six-figure verdict

    A legal secretary from Pittsburgh was undergoing a minor procedure on her nose at a local Pittsburgh hospital. Shortly after the procedure, she had a cardiac arrest. Fortunately, she did not suffer any permanent heart damage, but she was off work for a matter of months. Our attorneys filed a medical malpractice action against the anesthesia team on the ground that they removed her breathing tube too quickly and that led to the cardiac arrest. The Gismondi & Associates attorneys filed a medical malpractice claim, and the jury returned a significant six-figure verdict on this woman’s behalf.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    An elderly man from Pittsburgh died as a result of endocarditis, which developed following the placement of a St. Jude aortic valve. Patients with aortic valves are prone to develop endocarditis. We filed a claim against the physicians on the ground that they should have discovered the endocarditis much sooner when it could have been successfully treated with antibiotics. Unfortunately, that did not happen. We obtained a significant six-figure recovery on behalf of this man’s family.

    Very significant six-figure recovery

    A retired school teacher from Connellsville died from complications related to an abnormal heart valve. Prior to his death, he had undergone an echocardiogram and other tests, which showed that there were problems with the valve, but his doctor failed to notice this and referred him for surgery to correct the valve. We obtained a very significant six-figure recovery on behalf of his wife.

    Very significant six-figure settlement

    A middle-aged man from the North Hills was in the hospital where he passed out on a few occasions. The doctors failed to discover that the reason he was passing out was due to an abnormal heart rhythm. They should have discovered that and placed a pacemaker, but that did not happen. Tragically, a few weeks later the man collapsed and died while at home due to the abnormal heart rhythm. We obtained a very significant six-figure settlement on behalf of his widow.

    Significant six-figure award

    A retired man from Somerset County went to a Pittsburgh hospital to undergo a stress thallium test, a procedure designed to detect whether a patient is at risk for a heart attack. While the patient was undergoing the stress test, he started to develop shortness of breath and other signs that his heart was beginning to have problems. The people conducting the test, however, were not paying attention to the patient and, rather than stopping the test, they continued to have him exercise and stress his heart. Unfortunately, he suffered a cardiac arrest while on the stress test machine. We filed a medical malpractice and wrongful death claim against the hospital and recovered a very significant six-figure award on behalf of this man’s widow.

    Significant six-figure settlement

    A young man from Pittsburgh who suffered from diabetes developed coronary artery disease and then died of a heart attack. Several weeks prior to his death, medical tests were done, which showed he probably had coronary artery disease, but nothing was done about it. He should have had a stent procedure or bypass surgery in order to avoid a fatal heart attack, but his doctor did not do that. A very significant six-figure settlement was obtained on behalf of his widow.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    A retired man from Pittsburgh entered the emergency room complaining of chest pains. Unfortunately, he sat in the ER for a long time before anyone saw him. By that time, he had suffered a heart attack and had permanent damage to his heart and died a few days later. We filed a claim against the hospital on the ground that they let the man sit too long in the ER. A significant six-figure recovery was obtained on behalf of his widow.

    Six-figure recovery for failure to diagnose a heart problem

    Failure to diagnose a heart problem

    One of the main obligations in an emergency room is to properly “triage” a patient and try to figure out generally what is causing their complaints. In this case, a 68-year-old woman, who had a known history of heart disease, came into the emergency room with complaints of pain in her left side, left arm and leg. She was admitted to the hospital and blood work was done to check several things including something called cardiac enzymes. If these enzymes are elevated in blood work, it is generally an indication that the heart is experiencing some damage. In her case, the enzymes were elevated, but it does not appear that her doctor took notice of the test results. Also, later that day an EKG was done which showed an abnormally low ejection fraction which measures the pumping ability of the heart, but again, it does not appear that the physician who ordered these tests ever saw, or paid attention to, the abnormal results. Obviously, it is the obligation of all physicians to be aware of blood work and other tests which they order. In this case, the doctor apparently overlooked the results. Had he seen them, he would have suspected a heart problem and ordered the patient to be examined by a heart specialist. (That type of physician is called a cardiologist.) Unfortunately, no heart specialist was ever involved in the patient’s case, and she suffered a cardiac arrest a few days later and died.
     
    We had the record independently reviewed by a cardiologist who said that the abnormal blood work and abnormal EKG should have prompted an examination by a cardiologist who would have started medication and done a cardiac catheterization on the patient. This likely would have led to the discovery of a blocked artery which could have been treated with a cardiac stent.
     
    Although the patient was not employed, she took care of the household occupied by her and her disabled husband who was suffering with issues of dementia. After his wife’s death, the husband had to move in with his daughter.

    Large, six-figure recovery

    A retired man from Erie suffered complications after undergoing a coronary angioplasty at an Erie hospital. The cardiologist who did the angioplasty did not watch the patient closely enough following the angioplasty and, five days later he died. We obtained a large, six-figure recovery for the widow of this patient.

    Large six-figure recovery

    A young man from McKeesport was undergoing laparoscopic knee surgery at a Pittsburgh hospital. When he woke up from the surgery, part of his right hand was paralyzed. We filed a claim arguing that the anesthesia staff had not properly positioned the man’s arm and hand during the surgery and, as a result, permanent nerve damage was done to the hand. We filed a medical malpractice claimand obtained a large six-figure recovery.

    Significant six-figure award

    A 71-year-old retired coal miner from Uniontown died while undergoing hernia surgery at the hospital due to problems with his breathing. We filed a medical malpractice claim against the surgeon and anesthesiologist on the ground that they should have been aware that this man had breathing problems, including black lung disease, prior to going into surgery, and, therefore, they should have treated his breathing more carefully during the surgery. We obtained a significant six-figure awardon behalf of his widow.

    Significant six-figure verdict

    A legal secretary from Pittsburgh was undergoing a minor procedure on her nose at a local Pittsburgh hospital. Shortly after the procedure, she had a cardiac arrest. Fortunately, she did not suffer any permanent heart damage, but she was off work for a matter of months. Our attorneys filed a medical malpractice action against the anesthesia team on the ground that they removed her breathing tube too quickly and that led to the cardiac arrest. The Gismondi & Associates attorneys filed a medical malpractice claim, and the jury returned a significant six-figure verdict on this woman’s behalf.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    A disabled coal miner from Fayette County went to a Pittsburgh hospital to have rotator cuff surgery. During the surgery, problems developed with his breathing and he ended up dying. We filed a claim against the hospital and the anesthesiologist on the grounds that the man was known to have prior breathing problems, and that he never should have been taken to surgery unless additional precautions were taken. Without those protections, his breathing status was not strong enough to withstand surgery. The attorneys of Gismondi & Associates filed a wrongful death and medical malpractice claim, and we obtained a significant six-figure recovery on behalf of his wife.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    A middle-aged man from Somerset County had a mole removed from his back but, rather than having the mole tested, the doctor threw the tissue in the wastebasket! Two years later, this man was found to have a malignant melanoma at that same site. Unfortunately, because of the delay in discovering the melanoma, this man had a shortened life expectancy. The attorneys of Gismondi & Associates filed a medical malpractice claim on his behalf. Although he was still living at the time of the legal claim, we were able to obtain a significant six-figure recovery on his behalf.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    A middle-aged woman from Pittsburgh suffered a two-year delay in diagnosing a cancerous brain tumor. As a result of the delay, she had to undergo much more aggressive surgery, and her life expectancy may be shortened. We obtained a significant six-figure recovery on her behalf.

    Significant recovery well into six figures

    A young man from Erie had an abnormal growth in the bone of his lower leg. The growth was removed, but the pathologist who looked at the tissue under a microscope failed to identify that the growth was cancerous. As a result, no treatment was given for almost two years. By that time, the cancer had spread and the man ended up with a below-the-knee amputation. We obtained a significant recovery well into six figures on behalf of this man. Fortunately, he was able to continue performing his job.

    Substantial award

    A young woman from the South Hills who was married with two small children made complaints about rectal bleeding, which were ignored by her OB/GYN for more than a year. It turned out that she had colon and rectal cancer. Fortunately, the woman is still alive today, but the delay in diagnosing her cancer has increased the chances that she will never live to a normal life expectancy. A substantial award was obtained for the woman and her family.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    A middle-aged woman from Uniontown was complaining of an abnormal lump in her breast. Her family physician assured her that it was nothing to be concerned with, and, therefore, a biopsy of the lump was never done. Finally, more than a year later, a biopsy was performed and it was determined that the lump was cancerous. Although the woman survived, the delay in starting treatment could have a significant effect on her future life expectancy. We filed a medical malpractice claim against the family physician and obtained a substantial six-figure recovery on her behalf.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    An elderly woman from Beaver County went into the hospital to have a mastectomy for breast cancer. Due to a series of mistakes by the nurses and doctors, the surgeon removed the wrong breast. Although this did not affect the woman’s recovery and prognosis from the breast cancer, we obtained a very large six-figure award for the trauma of her having an unnecessary mastectomy.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    A retired school teacher from West Mifflin developed breast cancer, which should have been discovered a few years earlier on a mammogram. We filed a legal claim against the radiologist who read the mammogram and received a large six-figure recovery on behalf of this woman even though she was still alive.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    A wife and mother from Beaver County underwent regular mammograms, but on one of her mammograms a cancerous spot was “missed.” As a result, there was a two-year delay in diagnosing her breast cancer. Although the woman survived, her risks of dying prematurely in the future were increased. In a claim against the radiologist and hospital, which interpreted the mammogram, we obtained a large six-figure recovery for this woman.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    A 53-year-old nurse from Johnstown, Cambria County, experienced a three-year delay in diagnosing her breast cancer. A claim was filed against the radiologist who misread her mammogram and the surgeon who did not properly treat a lump in her breast. Although the woman is still alive today, the delay in diagnosing her breast cancer may cause her to have a reduced life expectancy. A large six-figure award was obtained for her.

    Large six-figure settlement

    An elderly woman came into the emergency room after suffering a head injury. Her medical care was not properly handled in the intensive care unit because the doctors delayed in placing her on a ventilator to help her breathing. Sadly, she ended up dying later that day. A large, six-figure settlement was obtained for this woman’s surviving husband.

    Significant six-figure settlement

    A sheet metal worker from Beaver County suffered significantly reduced function in his right hand because of a one-month delay in diagnosing a fractured wrist. He had been seen at the emergency room one month earlier where X-rays were taken of the wrist and he was mistakenly told that there was no fracture. We filed a medical malpractice claim against the Beaver County hospital on the grounds that they “missed” the fracture in the emergency room, and we obtained a significant six-figure settlement on his behalf.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    A severely retarded boy from Washington, PA, went into the emergency room with signs and symptoms suggesting that he had an abnormal build-up of fluid on his brain. Unfortunately, the emergency room physician and the radiologist who read a CT scan of the child’s brain failed to detect the excess fluid. If the fluid had been seen, it could have been safely drained. Unfortunately, that did not happen and the child died a few days later. Even though the child was already severely disabled before this incident, we obtained a significant six-figure recovery on behalf of the parents in a medical malpractice claim filed against the hospital.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    A maintenance man from Pittsburgh went to the emergency room at a South Side hospital with complaints indicating that he had a urinary tract infection. He should have been admitted to the hospital but was sent home. While at home, the infection got much worse. By the time he returned to the hospital, the infection was in his blood stream (a condition known as sepsis), and he ended up dying. We filed a medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuit against the ER on the ground that they should have admitted him to the hospital originally and given him strong antibiotic treatment to stop the infection before it went too far. We received a significant six-figure recovery on behalf of his widow.

    High six-figure award

    An electrician from Pittsburgh went into a hospital in Shadyside with a ruptured colon. The surgeon who saw him thought that the rupture did not require surgery. However, because he did not operate until nearly 24 hours later, the patient became riddled with infection and ended up spending three months in the hospital. He also developed two serious incisional hernias, which required additional surgery. One of the hernias was so large that it could not be repaired, and he is now required to wear a corset. The personal injury attorneys at Gismondi & Associates filed a medical malpractice action against the surgeon on the ground that he should have operated on the ruptured colon as soon as the patient entered the emergency room. We received a very high six-figure award on behalf of this man.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    A middle-aged man from Uniontown, Fayette County, presented to the emergency room with signs and symptoms of a dissected aortic aneurysm, which was causing pericardial effusion, a collection of fluid around his heart. The doctors in the ER did not discover the problem, and the man died. If they had correctly diagnosed his condition, the aortic dissection could have been repaired in surgery. We obtained a significant six-figure recovery for this man’s widow.

    Six-figure settlement

    A young father from Allegheny County went into a Pittsburgh hospital with a serious leg fracture. The doctors in the emergency room did not realize that the fracture site was open and likely contaminated, therefore they did not give the proper antibiotics. Rodney eventually had an amputation at the ankle after previously undergoing several surgeries trying to salvage the foot. A substantial, six-figure settlement was obtained for him as a result of a lawsuit filed against the hospital.

    Large six-figure award

    A young girl from Uniontown, Fayette County, went into the emergency room with complaints of back pain that should have alerted the doctors to the possibility that she had a disk compressing on her spinal cord. They ignored those warning signs for several days and by the time they finally discovered the problem, the young lady had suffered permanent damage to her bowel and bladder function. We obtained a large six-figure award on her behalf.

    Significant award

    A long-time postal worker from DuBois, Jefferson County, went to the emergency room with excruciating pain in his right leg. The ER doctor felt that it was a blood clot in his leg because it was turning blue from lack of blood supply. He urgently paged a surgeon, but the surgeon waited several hours to respond. In the meantime, Randy’s leg suffered gangrene from lack of blood supply and it had to be amputated. We obtained a significant award to compensate Randy for living the rest of his life as an amputee.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    A retired man from Pittsburgh entered the emergency room complaining of chest pains. Unfortunately, he sat in the ER for a long time before anyone saw him. By that time, he had suffered a heart attack and had permanent damage to his heart and died a few days later. We filed a claim against the hospital on the ground that they let the man sit too long in the ER. A significant six-figure recovery was obtained on behalf of his widow.

    Six-figure recovery for failure to diagnose a heart problem

    Failure to diagnose a heart problem

    One of the main obligations in an emergency room is to properly “triage” a patient and try to figure out generally what is causing their complaints. In this case, a 68-year-old woman, who had a known history of heart disease, came into the emergency room with complaints of pain in her left side, left arm and leg. She was admitted to the hospital and blood work was done to check several things including something called cardiac enzymes. If these enzymes are elevated in blood work, it is generally an indication that the heart is experiencing some damage. In her case, the enzymes were elevated, but it does not appear that her doctor took notice of the test results. Also, later that day an EKG was done which showed an abnormally low ejection fraction which measures the pumping ability of the heart, but again, it does not appear that the physician who ordered these tests ever saw, or paid attention to, the abnormal results. Obviously, it is the obligation of all physicians to be aware of blood work and other tests which they order. In this case, the doctor apparently overlooked the results. Had he seen them, he would have suspected a heart problem and ordered the patient to be examined by a heart specialist. (That type of physician is called a cardiologist.) Unfortunately, no heart specialist was ever involved in the patient’s case, and she suffered a cardiac arrest a few days later and died.
     
    We had the record independently reviewed by a cardiologist who said that the abnormal blood work and abnormal EKG should have prompted an examination by a cardiologist who would have started medication and done a cardiac catheterization on the patient. This likely would have led to the discovery of a blocked artery which could have been treated with a cardiac stent.
     
    Although the patient was not employed, she took care of the household occupied by her and her disabled husband who was suffering with issues of dementia. After his wife’s death, the husband had to move in with his daughter.

    Substantial six-figure award

    A 63-year-old woman underwent gastric bypass surgery at a Beaver County hospital, and a few days later she experienced a perforated/leaking colon, which was not discovered by her doctor. She went on to develop peritonitis and died. A wrongful death and medical malpractice lawsuit was filed against the medical center and the surgeon on behalf of the woman’s adult children, and a substantial six-figure award was obtained.

    Large six-figure award

    A 49-year-old man from Penn Hills went into a Pittsburgh hospital for lumbar disk surgery, and somehow the wrong disk was removed. He had to undergo two additional surgeries and as a result of those extra operations, he suffered nerve damage, which left him with chronic pain in his back and abdomen as well as his right leg. A large six-figure award was obtained against the hospital and the responsible doctors as a result of the medical malpractice claim that we filed.

    High six-figure award

    A 52-year-old woman from Altoona suffered a deep venous thrombosis (DVT) as a result of an injury to her common iliac vein, which occurred while she was undergoing surgery for an anterior spine fusion. As a result of the DVT, blood supply to the lower leg was disrupted and ultimately led to the amputation of her leg below the knee. We filed a medical malpractice claim against the surgeon on the ground that he caused injury to the common iliac vein; that he did not repair that injury properly; and that he did not take appropriate measures to dissolve the DVT before it was too late. We obtained a high six-figure award on behalf of this woman

    Significant six-figure award

    An elderly woman from Pittsburgh’s North Hills suffered an injury to her ureter while undergoing a cystoscopy for the treatment of a kidney stone. The injury to the ureter led to a very prolonged hospitalization and three additional surgeries. With the help of an independent urology expert, we filed a medical malpractice claim and were able to establish that the additional surgeries and the lengthy hospital stay could have been avoided if the surgeon had discovered and treated the original injury to the ureter much earlier on. We obtained a significant six-figure award on her behalf.

    Significant six-figure award

    A 73-year-old woman from Jefferson, PA, died as a result of bleeding that occurred when she suffered a tear in her subclavian vein as a surgeon attempted to place a catheter in that vein. We filed a medical malpractice claim against the surgeon for causing the tear, and also against the hospital nurses for not discovering the bleeding that occurred after the surgery and which led to the patient’s death. We obtained a significant six-figure award on behalf of her family.

    Large six-figure award

    An elderly woman from Pittsburgh suffered complete loss of vision in her left eye as a result of an injury she sustained during a lens implant surgery. We filed a medical malpractice action against the ophthalmologist who performed the surgery and were able to prove with the assistance of independent consultants that the second surgery led to the injury. We obtained a large six-figure award for this woman.

    Significant six-figure award

    A retired man from Erie died from excessive bleeding around the heart following a heart valve replacement surgery. The collection of blood around the heart is referred to as a pericardial effusion, which, if not drained soon enough, will apply pressure on the outside of the heart and eventually stop it from beating. We filed a medical malpractice claim against the surgeon at an Erie hospital on the ground that poor surgical technique caused the bleeding, and, furthermore, that the doctor did not discover and treat the bleeding soon enough. We obtained a significant six-figure award on behalf of his widow.

    Large six-figure recovery

    A newborn baby at a local hospital had an umbilical artery catheter in place to monitor blood pressure and to provide a port of entry for medications and fluids. When it came time to remove the catheter, it was improperly cut and stayed inside the child’s body where it caused blood clots, which led to the loss in function of one of the child’s kidneys. Although people can live normal lives with just one functioning kidney, the child developed chronic high blood pressure as a result of the lost kidney. He also had to avoid all contact sports because he only had one healthy kidney. We filed a medical malpractice claim against the hospital on the ground that they used improper procedures in trying to remove the catheter, and received a large six-figure recovery on behalf of the child.

    Recovery well in excess of six figures

    A housewife from Blair County had a drainage tube placed in her chest (The medical term for the procedure is a “thoracoscopy.”) in order to drain fluid that had collected around her lung. Unfortunately, the doctor placed the tube in the wrong location and he lacerated the spleen. The woman had to undergo emergency surgery for removal of her spleen. (A surgery called a “splenectomy.”) Although the woman made a good recovery, she is now without her spleen. We filed a personal injury and medical malpractice action against the physician who did the thoracoscopy, and a recovery well in excess of six figures was obtained.

    Very high six-figure award

    An electrician from Pittsburgh went into a local hospital with a ruptured colon. The surgeon who saw him thought that the rupture did not require surgery. However, because he did not operate until nearly 24 hours later, the patient became riddled with infection and ended up spending three months in the hospital. He also developed two serious incisional hernias, which required additional surgery. One of the hernias was so large that it could not be repaired, and he is now required to wear a corset. The personal injury attorneys at Gismondi & Associates filed a medical malpractice action against the surgeon on the ground that he should have operated on the ruptured colon as soon as the patient entered the emergency room. We received a very high six-figure award on behalf of this man.

    Significant six-figure award

    A young woman from Somerset suffered sciatic nerve damage after undergoing a hip replacement surgery at a Pittsburgh hospital. We filed a medical malpractice claim against the orthopedic surgeon and were able to establish that the procedure was not done properly and that is what caused the nerve injury. A significant six-figure award was obtained on her behalf.

    Significant six-figure award

    A young woman from western Pennsylvania suffered terrible scarring of her breasts as a result of an unnecessary breast reduction surgery. The woman had been diagnosed with fibrocystic disease, a benign condition of the breast, and her doctor thought it was necessary to perform breast reduction surgery. Relying on expert witnesses in the field, the attorneys at Gismondi & Associates filed a medical malpractice claim against the surgeon on the ground that the breast reduction never should have been done. We obtained a significant six-figure award on her behalf.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    A middle-aged man from Beaver County had surgery on a ruptured disk. Unfortunately, the surgeon made a mistake and took out the wrong disk. The patient had to have a second surgery and developed additional back problems. We filed a medical malpractice claim and obtained a significant six-figure recovery on his behalf.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    A high school football player from Uniontown, Pennsylvania suffered a broken arm during a game. While undergoing surgery to set that fracture, the surgeon injured the radial nerve. The boy recovered from the arm fracture, but the nerve damage led to problems with the strength and coordination in his hand. We obtained a significant six-figure recovery on his behalf in a medical malpractice claim filed against the surgeon.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    A young boy from Uniontown, Fayette County, suffered a burn to his leg during surgery at a hospital in Pittsburgh. The surgery was being done to fix a leg fracture that happened in a bicycle accident. We filed a medical malpractice claim against the hospital on the ground that the electric pad was not placed properly during the surgery nor was it watched closely enough to prevent a burn from occurring. We obtained a significant six-figure recovery on behalf of this child.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    An elderly woman from Johnstown died as a result of a delay in taking her to surgery to treat gangrene in her colon. We filed a medical malpractice claim against the surgeon on the ground that he should have operated on the patient sooner. A significant six-figure recovery was obtained on behalf of this woman’s husband.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    An elderly woman from Allegheny County suffered a right cranial nerve injury during a surgery known as a temporal artery biopsy. As a result of the injury, she developed a facial droop, and her right eye did not close properly. We filed a medical malpractice claim against the doctor who performed the procedure on the ground that he did not take adequate steps to protect the nerve during this surgery. We obtained a significant six-figure recovery on her behalf.

    Very significant six-figure recovery

    A wife and mother from Beaver County died in the hospital as a result of a condition called toxic megacolon, a severe inflammation of the colon. A wrongful death claim and medical malpractice claim was filed against her doctor who did not take her to surgery soon enough to treat the toxic megacolon before it ruptured. Unfortunately, she died as a result of that delay. A very significant six-figure recovery was obtained on behalf of this woman’s husband.

    Recovery well into six figures

    An elderly woman from Waynesburg died as a result of a delay at a Greene County hospital in taking her to surgery as a result of a ruptured colon. The hospital initially argued that her stomach problems were not severe enough to warrant surgery, but we eventually made a recovery well into six figures on behalf of this woman’s surviving children.

    Significant six-figure award

    A retired man suffered an injury to his common bile duct while undergoing an ERCP, a test designed to check for abdominal problems. As a result of the injury to the common bile duct, the gentleman was in the hospital for several weeks and had three surgeries to repair things. We filed a medical malpractice claim and obtained a significant six-figure award on his behalf.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    A retired man from State College was in the recovery room after undergoing elective surgery. A leak developed in his endotracheal tube, but the nurses were not monitoring the patient closely enough, and they failed to discover the leak. Eventually, the leaking of the air caused a tension in pneumothorax, which resulted in the man’s lungs no longer working, and he died. A significant six-figure recoverywas obtained for the widow of this man as a result of our medical malpractice and wrongful death claim.

    Six-figure award

    A Greensburg, Pennsylvania, child with severe brain damage was taken to a Pittsburgh hospital to be treated for dehydration. An IV was started to give him fluids and certain chemicals, but unfortunately, the IV needle was placed incorrectly and it caused the chemicals to burn the skin of this child’s foot. Therefore, he was required to undergo debridement and skin grafting. Although the child already had severe brain damage, this additional injury caused him considerable pain and also left scarring on his foot. We filed a medical malpractice claim, and a six-figure award was obtained, which enabled the parents to provide for many of the daily needs they were otherwise unable to afford for the child.

    Significant six-figure settlement award

    A 70-year-old retiree from Butler, PA, suffered a serious chemical burn to his hand while he was a patient at a Pittsburgh hospital. An IV line containing the chemical was placed incorrectly, and it caused the chemical to burn the skin. In addition to having permanent scars, the function of his hand never returned to normal. A significant six-figure settlement award was obtained for him as a result of the medical malpractice claim we filed.

    Large six-figure recovery

    A woman from Uniontown suffered nerve damage due to clamps, which were placed incorrectly while a surgeon was removing a vein from her leg. She was left with impairments in the use of her leg. We obtained a large six-figure recovery for her.

    Six-figure recovery

    A retired gentleman from Altoona underwent a stereotactic biopsy to sample a tumor in his brain. Because the neurosurgeon incorrectly plotted the location of the tumor, he “missed his mark” when he inserted the needle to do the biopsy and struck a blood vessel. The patient suffered serious intracranial bleeding and eventually died several days later. We filed a wrongful death claim and medical malpractice claim, and a six-figure recovery was obtained for the children of this unfortunate patient.

    Settlement well into the six figures

    A married mother of three from Dormont suffered a brain abscess as a result of oral surgery that was done improperly. We filed a medical malpractice claim, and a settlement well into six figures was obtained for this woman who had a lengthy hospitalization and persistent memory problems following the brain abscess.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    A young woman from Pittsburgh was undergoing a thoracoscopy (insertion of a scope into the chest) at a Pittsburgh hospital. During the surgery, she suffered damage to the brachial plexus, a bundle of nerves that controls movement in the arm. A significant six-figure recovery was obtained in her favor.

    Six-figure recovery

    A woman from Pittsburgh’s North Hills suffered an injury to her common bile duct during a laparoscopic gallbladder surgery. As a result, she had to stay in the hospital longer and had to undergo an additional surgery. She was then bothered by abdominal complaints for the next several months. We filed a medical malpractice claim against the surgeon for not properly protecting the common bile duct during the gallbladder surgery. A six-figure recovery in favor of the woman was obtained.

    Large six-figure award

    A retired man from Murrysville who enjoyed tinkering around the house, underwent a surgery at a Pittsburgh Hospital to stop persistent nose bleeds. The surgery involved injection of material into the arteries of his nose. The doctor improperly performed the procedure and caused some of the material to injure the man’s optic nerve, which resulted in blindness in one eye. We filed a medical malpractice claim and obtained a large six-figure award to compensate this retiree for changes in his daily activity as a result of losing sight in one eye.

    Very large six-figure award

    An elderly woman from Beaver County went into the hospital to have a mastectomy for breast cancer. Due to a series of mistakes by the nurses and doctors, the surgeon removed the wrong breast. Although this did not affect the woman’s recovery and prognosis from the breast cancer, we filed a medical malpractice claim and obtained a very large six-figure award for the trauma of her having an unnecessary mastectomy.

    Large Award

    A 45-year-old wife and mother from Kane, Pennsylvania, underwent gastric bypass surgery. A few days later, her endotracheal tube came out of position and the loss of oxygen caused her permanent brain damage. She eventually died one year later from the brain damage. We filed suit against the hospital, the nurses and the doctors who were supposed to be watching the endotracheal tube, and a large award was obtained for this woman’s husband and her 19-year-old daughter.

    Maximum Insurance Recovery

    An anesthesiologist from Altoona suffered a closed head injury and traumatic brain injury in a motor vehicle accident caused by a negligent truck driver. The injuries impaired the physician’s ability to continue performing her regular work. We obtained a recovery representing the maximum insurance available from the other driver as well as additional underinsurance available under the physician’s policy.

    High six-figure settlement

    Death Due to Malfunction of Brain Shunt

    A neurologically disabled woman in her 30s died as a result of a delay in diagnosing a blockage in a brain shunt. This young woman had a chronic condition that caused the build-up of fluid in her brain and the purpose of the shunt was to drain that fluid from the brain to her abdomen where it could be gradually absorbed into the body. Unfortunately, the shunt developed a blockage and the fluid could not be drained and, therefore, pressure built up inside her brain and ultimately led to her death. The medical mistake happened when a doctor who looked at a CT scan done on her abdomen and brain failed to detect signs suggesting that the shunt was blocked. Had the CT been correctly interpreted, the surgeon could have been notified and the situation could have been corrected with a new shunt.
     
    Errors involving the mis-reading of radiology films such as x-rays or CT scans often occur because doctors do not pay close enough attention to the reason the test was ordered. In this case, the “indications” listed by the ordering physician included the possibility that there was a malfunction of the shunt. Therefore, the radiologist interpreting the films should have paid particular attention to any signs of shunt blockage.
     
    Although this claim led to the patient’s death, the recovery was limited by the fact that the patient was already disabled and, therefore, there was no claim for economic loss. Additionally, she was not married and had no children. Thus, the only damages available under Pennsylvania law were for the parents loss of their relationship with the daughter.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    A 50-year-old man from Bridgeville suffered a serious traumatic brain injury when he fell from a Genie vertical lift. The accident was caused by an improper balancing and stability mechanism in the Genie Man Lift. We obtained a very significant, six-figure recovery for this gentleman who was unable to return to his former work because of the defective product.

    Significant six-figure recovery

    A young man from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, suffered a traumatic brain injury when he was hit in the head with a concrete block at a home construction site. The construction block was thrown out of a window by another worker as this gentleman walked around the exterior of the house. Although he recovered to return to work after several weeks in the hospital, he is still bothered by problems of memory and concentration. We obtained a very significant six-figure recovery on his behalf.

    Significant six-figure award

    A toddler from Brookville, Pennsylvania, suffered a severe brain injury as a result of an air embolus that occurred during surgery. Unfortunately, the child died a few years later from unrelated causes. Nevertheless, we obtained a significant six-figure award to compensate this boy’s mother for the two years of pain and suffering that he endured as a result of his serious brain damage.

    Large six-figure settlement

    A young pregnant woman from Aliquippa, Beaver County, was visiting her doctor regularly. Near the end of the pregnancy, there were signs that the baby had stopped growing (a condition known as IUGR), but the doctor ignored them. As a result, the baby was born with brain damage, which affected his behavior and entire body coordination. By relying on medical experts in obstetrics who said the doctor should have delivered the baby as soon as the signs of growth retardation were present, we were able to obtain a very large six-figure settlement, which was placed in trust for the benefit of the child.

    Significant Six-Figure Recovery

    A severely retarded boy from Washington, PA, went into the emergency room with signs and symptoms suggesting that he had an abnormal build-up of fluid in his brain. Unfortunately, the emergency room physician and the radiologist who read a CT scan of the child’s brain failed to detect the excess fluid. If the fluid had been seen, it could have been safely drained. Unfortunately, that did not happen and the child died a few days later. Even though the child was already severely disabled before this incident, we obtained a significant six-figure recovery on behalf of the parents in a medical malpractice claim filed against the hospital.

    Very Significant Six-Figure Recovery

    A young pregnant woman from Altoona went to the hospital with signs suggesting that she was in labor, but she was sent home under the mistaken belief that she was just having abdominal pains. While she was at home, she started to give birth to a premature infant. She tried to rush back to the hospital, but the infant died before she could return. We filed a claim against the hospital on the ground that they should have recognized that the mother was in labor when she first came to the hospital, and she should have been admitted to the hospital and given her drugs to stop the premature labor. We obtained a very significant six-figure recovery on behalf of this woman.

    Very Significant Six-Figure Recovery

    A pregnant mother from Pennsylvania reported to a hospital in Punxsutawney with contractions, but the doctor failed to appreciate that she was in labor and thought she was just having abdominal pains. He did not give medication such as Terbutalin, which could have been given to stop the labor. As a result, the woman gave birth to a premature child, which died five days later. We obtained a very significant six-figure recovery on behalf of the parents.

    Significant Six-Figure Recovery

    A newborn from Beaver County suffered a congenital heart defect, which was not discovered at birth. Had the defect been discovered, it could have been repaired, although the child’s life expectancy may be shortened. We obtained a very significant six-figure recovery on behalf of his parents.

    Recovery in the High Six Figures

    A toddler from Erie was born with bilateral dislocations of her hips, but her pediatrician did not discover this until it was too late for the problem to be corrected. As a result, she had to undergo major surgeries that could have been avoided if the hip dislocations had been discovered sooner. A recovery in the high six figures was obtained on her behalf.

    Significant Six-Figure Award

    A young pregnant woman from Pittsburgh delivered a stillborn child. There were problems during the end of the pregnancy that should have been discovered by the obstetrician at a time when it would have been possible to prevent the stillbirth. Unfortunately, that did not happen. We obtained a significant six-figure award on behalf of this young woman.

    Significant Recovery

    A young expectant mother from Pittsburgh’s South Hills developed an infection during pregnancy known as Listera. Her obstetrician, however, “missed” the signs of infection, and it went on to cause the death of the baby. Relying on expert witnesses in the field of infectious disease, we were able to obtain a significant recovery for this young expectant mother.

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