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Case Results

Read on for noteworthy case results from Calderhead, Lockemeyer and Peshcke Law Office.

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Medical malpractice trials

Trial: Plaintiffs alleged kidney failure from Asacol, a medication used to treat the patient’s ulcerative colitis.  During a flare-up of the ulcerative colitis, blood work was taken which demonstrated an elevated creatinine.  Our PA client examined the patient and attributed the patient’s abnormal renal labs to mild dehydration from the ulcerative colitis flare.  Plaintiffs alleged the renal labs required a work up for Asacol toxicity.  The alleged injury from the Asacol was stage III chronic kidney disease and progression of the disease to end stage renal failure requiring dialysis and a kidney transplant.  Plaintiffs sought $11.2 million on closing argument.  We represented the PA and her employer, the medical practice.                                      Result: Defense verdict.  The appeal deadline has not expired as of the posting of this result.

Trial: Death of a 65 year old male patient three days after a gallbladder ultrasound reporting a 5 cm diameter aortic aneurysm.  Plaintiff alleged the aortic aneurysm should have been measured as 9-10 cm in diameter which would have resulted in an emergency aortic repair, prior to the aorta rupturing three days after the ultrasound.  We represented the radiologist who interpreted the ultrasound.                                                                                                             Result: Defense verdict.

Trial: Death of a 70 year old male patient two weeks post CABG from an alleged pleural effusion.  Plaintiff alleged a called rapid response should have resulted in an emergency intubation and chest tube placement.  We represented the CT surgeon and argued the patient’s rapid response was the result of over sedation from Restoril, as proven by the patient’s prompt recovery after receiving reversal agent medication.                                                           Result: Defense verdict.

Trial:  Trauma case alleging failure to obtain proper clearance for facial surgery for a patient with multiple facial fractures in need of surgical repair. Plaintiff alleged that there was no neurosurgical clearance for the surgery which resulted in bleeding during the facial surgery and ultimately in the death of the patient. Jury found that the defendant plastic surgeon met the standard of care and had clearance from the trauma service to proceed with the surgery.
Result:  Defense verdict.  The verdict was not appealed against the plastic surgeon.

Trial:  Alleged preterm delivery and mismanagement of preeclampsia resulting in cerebral palsy.  The parents presented to their OB’s office and their visit was rescheduled.  The patient developed preeclampsia and was ultimately hospitalized with a preterm delivery at 29 weeks.  Plaintiff alleged that the patient should have been treated with bed rest for severe preeclampsia allowing the pregnancy to continue for several weeks.
Result:  Defense verdict.

Trial:  Plaintiff alleged Defendant physician failed to perform minimally invasive spine surgery in an appropriate manner, and failed to inform plaintiff of surgical risks.  Plaintiff also alleged that the defendant facility and the defendant physician’s corporation were negligent in allowing the doctor to perform the surgery.  The defendants proved that the surgery was appropriate and the resultant drop foot was a recognized complication of the procedure.
Result:  Defense verdict.  The case is on appeal.

Trial:  Urology case involving a TURP procedure which resulted in bleeding and transfer to the ICU.  While in the ICU, the bleeding was unable to be controlled and the patient ultimately died.  Plaintiff alleged that the incorrect procedure was performed resulting in more than expected bleeding.  Jury found that the bleeding first encountered was expected with this procedure and that the hospital ultimately was responsible for controlling the bleeding while in the ICU.
Result:  Defense verdict.  The verdict was not appealed.

Trial:  Patient death allegedly caused by a family physician’s failure to diagnose colon cancer during several years of consultations.  Plaintiff alleged the diagnosis of colon cancer should have been made sooner, based upon patient’s complaints of bleeding in the face of hemorrhoids.  Jury felt that the doctor met the standard of care in treatment of the patient and that the patient did not require a colonoscopy as he had a normal colonoscopy three years prior to beginning treatment with defendant.
Result:  Defense verdict.  The verdict was not appealed.

Trial:  Spine surgery case involving allegations of improper monitoring following the surgical treatment of an epidural abscess in a patient with sleep apnea.  Plaintiff alleges that all of the defendant treating physicians and hospital were negligent in not placing the patient in the ICU for monitoring post-op and instead placed him on a telemetry unit.  Plaintiff suffered an arrest while on the telemetry unit, alleged by plaintiff to be caused by pain medication and sleep apnea.
Result:   Defense verdict.  The case is on appeal.

 Trial:  Legal blindness in a 26 year old female allegedly caused by a neurosurgeon’s failure to diagnose a VP shunt malfunction during a consultation.  Plaintiff alleged the diagnosis of pseudotumor cerebri was an error and the failure to order additional testing of the shunt was below the standard of care.
Result:  Unanimous defense verdict.  The verdict was not appealed.

Trial:  A general surgery case in which the patient alleged negligence due to the complete transection of his common bile duct.  The care was defended at trial by establishing that reasonable surgical technique had been used in identifying the patient’s anatomy and the outcome was a known and recognized risk of the surgery at issue.
Result:  Defense verdict.  The verdict was not appealed.

Trial:  Alleged birth asphyxia and cerebral palsy of a term pregnancy delivery.  The parents followed Bradley Method natural child birth during labor.  Plaintiffs’ alleged the child should have been delivered by cesarean section two hours earlier for indications of fetal distress.  The case was tried over four full weeks.
Result:  Defense verdict.  The case is on appeal.

Trial:  A 51 year-old male alleged Defendant radiologist failed to report right hydronephrosis present on a lumbar MRI ordered for low back pain.  The defense acknowledged the presence of the right hydronephrosis and argued the abnormality was beyond the focus of the study, and thus failing to report the kidney issue was reasonable under the circumstances.
Result:  Defense verdict.  The verdict was not appealed.

Trial: A 52 year-old male alleged that his primary care physician negligently responded to a telephone call placed on his behalf, thereby delaying the diagnosis of his appendicitis and allowing the same to rupture.
Result:  Defense verdict.  The case is on appeal.

Trial: An OB/Gyn case involving the delivery of an infant complicated by a severe shoulder dystocia, resulting in the death of the infant seven days after her birth.  Plaintiff alleged that a c-section not a vaginal delivery, should have been recommended based upon the fetal weight as estimated by ultrasound at 36 weeks, and the fact that the mother was diabetic and obese.  Plaintiff also alleged that the OB/GYN did not give informed consent regarding the options that were available for delivery.
Result:  Defense verdict. The verdict was not appealed.

Trial: Radiological case alleging malpractice in the interpretation of an obstetrical ultrasound one week before delivery, which Plaintiff’s alleged resulted in an underestimated fetal weight and ultimately a prolonged shoulder dystocia.  Plaintiffs sough in excess of $3.3 million at trial.
Result:  Unanimous jury verdict in favor of the defendant-radiologist.  The verdict was not appealed.

Trial:  A 52 year old female patient diagnosed with Ogilvie’s Syndrome went on to develop a colon perforation following a GI consult by defendant gastroenterologist.  Plaintiff alleged the defendant was negligent in failing to recommend a surgical consult following a failed decompressive colonoscopy.  Plaintiff sought medical special damages in excess of $1.5 million.
Result:  Defense Verdict.  The verdict was affirmed on appeal.

Trial: Alleged wrongful death of an 84 year old man diagnosed with a colon perforation following a colonoscopy. Plaintiff alleged the defendant gastroenterologist improperly performed argon plasma coagulation of several vascular ectasias within the cecum resulting in a perforation. The perforation was diagnosed several hours after the patient was discharged from the endoscopy center.
Result: Defense Verdict. The verdict was not appealed.

Trial: 30 year old female with L3-4 herniation and cauda equina syndrome underwent laminectomy, discectomy, PLIF, and screw fixation by defendant neurosurgeon. The patient experienced persistent cauda equina surgery and underwent two additional procedures. Plaintiff alleged excessive retraction of cauda equina and improper right L4 screw placement caused a foot drop and left the patient wheelchair bound. A lack of informed consent claim was also alleged.
Result: Defense Verdict. The verdict was not appealed.

Trial: Wrongful death case involving a 57 year old man. Cardiology case involving stent placement in RCA and LAD coronary arteries. Two days after stent placement, the patient experienced a sub-acute stent thrombosis. Before the patient could be transported to the cath lab for intervention he expired. Plaintiff alleged the defendant cardiologist should not have stented the LAD lesion because it lacked a sufficient degree of stenosis. It was alleged that had the RCA only been stented, the sub-acute stent thrombosis would not have occurred and the death would have been avoided.
Result: Unanimous jury verdict for the defense. The verdict was affirmed on appeal.

Trial: Obstetrics case alleging malpractice in delivery of a term pregnancy resulting in brachial plexopathy. Plaintiffs alleged physician clients failed to estimate a fetal weight in the macrosomic range and negligently delivered the child when presented with a shoulder dystocia complication during delivery. The obstetrical care was defended by presenting evidence that the delivering physician used several recognized maneuvers to release the dystocia. Evidence was presented that the traction used to deliver the child was necessary and reasonable under the circumstances.
Result: Defense verdict for both obstetricians. The verdict was not appealed.

Trial: Plastic surgery case involving a bilateral liposuction of hips and thighs was complicated by depressions in the operative area that developed after a revision procedure. Plaintiff alleged the surgeon negligently removed excessive fat during the revision procedure. At trial, evidence was presented that the documented amount of fluid removed during the revision liposuction was minimal and thus reasonable. It was argued that the depressions that developed are a recognized complication that was unpredictable and unpreventable.
Result: Defense verdict. Plaintiff’s appeal of verdict was dismissed.

Trial: Neurologist sued in a case involving a 50-year-old male diagnosed with a mild stroke caused by vertebrobasilar stenosis. The patient was started on antiplatelet therapy and was discharged with the agreement of defendant neurologist. Plaintiffs alleged the neurologist should have transferred the patient to a local hospital with a stroke center for evaluation and potential endovascular treatment of the intracranial vascular lesion. The patient had a second stroke several days later leaving him incapacitated in a “locked-in” state. Over $10 million in damages were black-boarded at trial. The defense of the case at trial focused on the appropriateness of the defendant neurologist’s care which was consistent with the guidelines established by the American Stroke Association.
Result: Defense verdict. The verdict was affirmed on appeal.

Trial: An internal medicine physician working in an urgent care facility treated a 52-year-old male with complaints of abdominal pain and diarrhea. The patient was diagnosed with gastroenteritis. Three days later the patient presented to the ER and was diagnosed with acute appendicitis and a ruptured appendix. The patient was comatose in the ICU for several weeks. At trial, the plaintiff’s expert witness testified on cross examination that gastroenteritis was a reasonable diagnosis by the defendant internist. Additionally, the plaintiff’s expert witness agreed that the delay in diagnosing the appendicitis did not proximately cause the delay in diagnosing appendicitis due to intervening care by another physician who was subsequently involved in the patient’s care.
Result: A directed verdict was granted for the internist. The verdict is currently on appeal.

Trial: A 19-year-old female was three days post-partum when she presented to the Emergency Department with complaints of chest pain. While in the ED, obstetrics was called regarding the patient’s complaints. The patient was discharged home with a diagnosis of pneumonia. Several hours after discharge, the patient developed seizures and was later diagnosed with post-partum cardiomyopathy. Plaintiffs’ alleged that the on-call internist and the on-call obstetrician consulted by the ER doctor should have admitted the patient to the hospital for further evaluation to rule out post partum cardiomypathy and preeclampsia. Permanent brain damages resulting in a complete work disability were alleged.
Result: Defense verdict. The verdict was not appealed.

Trial: Obstetrical case involving a 32-year-old primagravida. At 39 weeks, 1 day gestation, reported lack of fetal movement. She was instructed to immediately report to the hospital, where intrauterine fetal demise was confirmed by sonogram. A stillborn child was delivered vaginally the following day. Plaintiffs alleged that a non-stress test performed in the OB office a week before the fetal demise was negligently misread as reactive. After the NST, the patient had two additional contacts with the obstetrical office. Two obstetricians and a nurse midwife were sued.
Result: Defense verdict. The verdict was affirmed on appeal.

Trial: Otolaryngology surgery case involving a facial nerve injury during a mastoidectomy. Plaintiffs alleged lack of informed consent and negligent surgical technique. A major theme of the Plaintiffs case was that the facial nerve was not electronically monitored to prevent injury during the procedure.
Result: Defense verdict. No appeal was filed.

Trial: Neurosurgery case involving placement of a vagal nerve stimulator to treat epilepsy. Plaintiffs alleged that the stimulator was improperly placed on a nerve other than the vagus nerve causing the patient to receive an electric shock each time the device activated.
Result: Defense verdict. The verdict was not appealed.

Trial: An OB/GYN was sued for allegedly disclosing confidential patient information to a patient’s estranged husband. Plaintiff alleged the estranged husband informed her daughter that the plaintiff had a sexually transmitted disease. The patient had signed a HIPAA authorization specifically permitting disclosure of patient information to the estranged husband. The alleged disclosure of patient information was denied.
Result: Defense verdict. The verdict was affirmed on appeal.

Trial: Orthopedic case involving the death of a 35-year-old male following a week of treatment in the hospital. Plaintiff claimed that patient was immobile while receiving treatment for back problems. Patient suddenly died on Christmas Eve of a pulmonary embolism. At trial, evidence was presented showing that the patient was not immobile and that the defendant only saw the patient for the last two days of his admission and did not cause the patient to develop blood clots.
Result: The jury deliberated 30 minutes for a defense verdict. The Defense verdict was affirmed on appeal.

Trial: Anesthesia case involving a interscalene block on a former polio patient. After the block the patient suffered hoarseness and shortness of breath. Plaintiff claimed that the interscalene block was administered in the incorrect location and that the placement of the needle was wrong. At trial evidence was presented that the defendant placed the needle in the correct location and that the unfortunate complications were the result of the former polio and not caused by the technique employed by the defendant.
Result: The jury felt that although the result was unfortunate, it was a recognized complication and found for the defendant in a defense verdict. This was a final verdict.

Trial: Plastic surgery case involving a 35-year-old woman who had bariatric surgery one year before an abdominoplasty. Plaintiff argued that certain blood tests should have been performed prior to the abdominoplasty surgery. Plaintiff claimed that because the blood tests were not performed that would have shown severe anemia plaintiff died. At trial evidence was presented that the blood tests were not required for each patient undergoing abdominoplasty.
Result: Jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant. Final verdict with no appeal filed.

Trial: Family practice case involving a physician who was called by the emergency room to see a patient following an automobile accident. After evaluation by the defendant the patient was subsequently transferred to another hospital with a fractured neck. Plaintiff claimed that the defendant did not discover the fracture to prevent complete paralysis. At trial evidence was presented that showed the defendant relied upon the ER physician’s evaluation and the radiologist interpretation to treat the patient. The evidenced showed that the ER physician and radiologist missed the fracture.
Result: Jury found that the family physician had a right to rely on the specialist and found for defendant which resulted in a defense verdict. This was a final verdict with no appeal.

Trial: Surgical case where the defendant surgeon was on call for surgical cases. A 68-year-old male was involved in an automobile accident and suffered an injury to both of his thighs. Defendant was called by the family physician to debride the wounds. Plaintiff claimed that after the debridement the patient bled to death. The evidence at trial proved that the patient did not bleed to death and that the surgical debridement was not the cause of the patient’s death.
Result: The jury deliberated 30 minutes for a defense verdict. The verdict was not appealed.

Trial: Urology case involving the removal of a kidney stone in the upper part of the patients ureter. The defendant used a basket approach. Plaintiff claimed that basket approach was incorrect and another method to remove the stone should have been used. The evidence at trial proved that the basket approach used was acceptable and that the defendant’s experience with the basket approach was also good practice.
Result: After deliberations the jury found in favor of defendant for a defense verdict. This was a final verdict with no appeal. Back to top

Appeals

Michael B. Green and Gary D. Green vs. Stephen A. Bailey and Martin, Bailey, & McDonald, 2008 Ohio 3569, 2008 Ohio App. Lexis 3025, (1st Dist. July 18, 2008): After achieving a defense verdict in a legal malpractice case, the trial court removed the jury’s verdict and granted the plaintiff a new trial. Successfully argued that the trial court had abused its discretion resulting in the First District Court of Appeals vacating the trial court’s order and restoring the jury’s verdict for the Defense. Successfully argued to the Ohio Supreme Court to deny plaintiff’s memorandum in support of jurisdiction. Defense verdict affirmed.

Chun Cha Wilkerson v. Michael F. Hartings, PhD. 2009 Ohio 4897; 2009 Ohio App. Lexis 4270, (1st Dist. September 25, 2009): Cause of action was filed against mental health professional outside of the applicable statute of limitations. In lieu of opposing the defense’s motion for summary judgment, the plaintiff voluntarily dismissed the case, only to re-file the case by asserting all new causes of action. Successfully obtained a dismissal of the new case on statute of limitations grounds. Plaintiff appealed to the First District Court of Appeals, where again the trial court’s ruling was successfully defended, obtaining an affirmation of the dismissal. In February 2010, the Ohio Supreme Court declined to exercise jurisdiction, permanently concluding the matter in favor of the mental health professional. Motion for summary judgment affirmed on appeal.

Kenneth Taylor, et al vs. Riverhills Healthcare, Inc., et al. Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Trial Case No. A-0606042; First District Court of Appeals Appeal No. C- 090447: A 2009 jury trial concluded with a unanimous defense verdict in favor of the physician. Following the denial of their Motion for New Trial, the plaintiff appealed to the First District Court of Appeals, alleging that the verdict was against the manifest weight of the evidence. Successfully defended the verdict before the First District Court of Appeals, obtaining an affirmation of the verdict in favor of the physician. Defense verdict upheld on appeal. Back to top

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