Barbara Chapman and Jason Azzarone were successful in obtaining the dismissal of a medical negligence claim filed by an inmate in Hillsborough County, in which the firm represented a medical group which provided medical care to Hillsborough County inmates. The Plaintiff filed multiple causes of action predicated on his allegation that he was denied medical care. A motion to dismiss was filed, arguing that the Plaintiff failed to satisfy the condition precedent of notifying the Florida Department of Insurance of the filing of a civil action, failed to satisfy Florida’s medical malpractice presuit screening requirements, failed to state a cause of action for breach of contract and failed to comply with Florida law regarding the filing of a lawsuit by an indigent prisoner. The Court agreed, finding that the Plaintiff failed to comply with Florida’s medical malpractice presuit screening requirements. The Court further agreed that dismissal was warranted as the Plaintiff failed to notify the Florida Department of Insurance of the lawsuit as required by Florida Statute §768.28 and further violated Florida law regarding the filing of a lawsuit by a prisoner as required by Florida Statute § 57.085
Lou La Cava and Brett Gliosca obtained a defense verdict in a medical malpractice wrongful death case tried in Hillsborough County. The plaintiff alleged that a family practice physician was negligent in failing to diagnose pneumonia and not sending the patient to the hospital for emergency treatment resulting in his death about 36 hours after an office visit. The defense argued that the care and treatment provided based on the diagnosis met the standard of care. It was further argued that it was not a severe pneumonia that led to his death. Instead, more likely than not he dies from an arrhythmia due to underlying hypertensive heart disease. After a 6 day trial the jury returned a verdict finding there was not negligence on the part of the physician that was a legal cause of the patient’s death.
Lou La Cava obtained a summary judgment for his cardiac surgeon client in a wrongful death medical malpractice case filed in Hillsborough County. The plaintiff alleged the surgeon was negligent in delaying bypass surgery and in the technical performance of the surgery which resulted in the death of the patient who was a physician. Mr La Cava had previously represented a cardiologist who was a defendant in the same case and obtained a dismissal with prejudice without any settlement payment from him or his employer. The cardiac surgeon, who was then represented by another law firm, requested his file be transferred to La Cava. After clearing all conflicts the case was transferred. La Cava ultimately was able to convince plaintiff’s counsel to agree to an unopposed motion for summary judgment in favor of the cardiac surgeon and the court entered an order granting the summary judgment.
Barbara Chapman and Jason Azzarone were successful in securing a summary judgment in a civil rights case filed by an inmate in the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, in which the firm represented two nurses who provided medical care to Hillsborough County inmates. The Plaintiff alleged that he was denied medical care and that the nurses neglected his condition in violation of his Eighth Amendment Rights by subjecting him to cruel and unusual punishment. A motion for summary judgment was filed, arguing that based on the medical records, the Plaintiff could not establish deliberate indifference to a serious medical condition as required by Federal law. The Court agreed, finding that the Plaintiff could not demonstrate deliberate indifference and therefore, there were no genuine issues of material fact to present to the jury.
David Young and Jason Azzarone were successful in securing a summary judgment in a slip and fall negligence case filed in Pinellas county, in which the firm represented a the tenant of an office complex. The Plaintiff alleged that the tenant and landlord negligently maintained a handicap ramp on the property. Mr. Young and Mr. Azzarone filed a crossclaim on behalf of the tenant against the landlord for breach of contract, common law indemnity and contractual indemnity based upon language contained in the lease agreement between the tenant and landlord which provided that the landlord was responsible for maintenance of all common areas and which further provided for indemnification of the tenant. The Court granted motions for summary judgment in favor of the tenant on the negligence claims raised by the plaintiff as well as the crossclaim. In granting summary judgment on the crossclaim, the Court also entered a final judgment awarding the tenant its attorneys’ fees.
Lou La Cava and David Young obtained a defense verdict for an emergency room physician in a case tried in Hillsborough County. The Plaintiff alleged that the physician was negligent for failing to diagnose and treat a pelvic fracture in a woman who was brought to the emergency room from the rehabilitation hospital where she was recovering from a revision of a prior hip replacement. The Plaintiff claimed pain and suffering damages due to the alleged delay. The defense argued that the physician met the standard of care and that in fact the appropriate treatment provided by the physician reduce her pain and suffering during her recovery. After a 4 day trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the physician after deliberating for approximately one hour.
Lou La Cava and David Young
obtained a dismissal of their client in a medical malpractice case filed in Duval County against multiple physicians and facilities. The Plaintiff alleged that the emergency medicine physician failed to properly diagnose an elongated QT Interval in a suicidal patient. The Plaintiff alleged that although properly Baker Acted, the Plaintiff should not have been medicated in the psychiatric facility given the underlying cardiac issue and that such medication caused the death. The defense of this physician was that his care did not cause the death of the minor Plaintiff. Although all of the other Defendants represented by other attorneys settled their claim, the Plaintiff filed a notice of dismissal of the claims as to the physician and no settlement was paid on behalf of the Defendant emergency medicine physician.
David Nelson and Vicki Jobling were successful in obtaining a Final Summary Judgment in favor of a hospital in a case involving allegations that the hospital was liable for the alleged negligence of an emergency room physician.
In that case, the plaintiff alleged that when he came to the ER following a sports-related injury to his foot and ankle, the emergency medicine providers negligently failed to diagnose “compartment syndrome” a painful condition that can lead to irreversible muscle and nerve damage. The plaintiff alleged that, as a result of the failure to diagnose “compartment syndrome,” he suffered permanent muscle and nerve damage in his foot, ankle and leg, leading to pain and an inability to not only perform his job as an insurance claims adjuster, but also the loss of promotion possibilities at his place of employment. In his Complaint, the plaintiff alleged that the hospital could be held liable for the negligence of the emergency medicine providers under “non-delegable duty” and “apparent agency” theories. The Judge disagreed and entered a Final Order of Summary on these claims. A copy of that Order and the Order denying the plaintiff’s Motion for Rehearing are attached to this email.
Lou La Cava and Iva Valtcheva tried a medical malpractice case in Hillsborough County which resulted in a hung jury. The Plaintiff underwent a laparoscopic cyst drainage which resulted in an undiagnosed small bowel injury. She became septic and went on to undergo amputations of all four of her extremities as well as a loss of all of her abdominal muscle due to infection. Plaintiff alleged negligence in causing the perforation, not making an earlier diagnosis and failing to take her back to surgery sooner to repair the bowel. The Plaintiff asked for in excess of 25 million dollars in economic damages alone. After a 7 day trial the jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision.
Lou La Cava and David Young obtained a defense verdict for two emergency room physicians and a hospital in a case tried in Hernando County. The Plaintiff alleged that the physicians were negligent for failing to diagnose and treat Group B Strep meningitis in a 17 week old child who was brought to the hospital with symptoms of a high fever, high heart rate and spitting up more, on one visit and the next day with lethargy and vomiting. The child did suffer neurological injuries which resulted in a right hemiparesis as well as severe cognitive deficits. The defense argued that the both physicians met the standard of care and that the unfortunate outcome was the result of the disease process and not negligence. After a two week trial the jury returned a verdict in favor of the physicians and the hospital after deliberating for approximately one hour.