Read About Our Past Medical Malpractice Cases
Crandall & Pera Law fights on behalf of negligence victims throughout Ohio and Kentucky. When a doctor, a nurse, a surgeon and/or a hospital fails to uphold its duty to “do no harm,” the firm is there to protect the rights of victims and their families.
There are a number of hospitals in the greater Cincinnati area, and many of them earn high marks by various independent ranking organizations. That does not make them perfect, and it does not preclude their attending physicians and surgeons from making mistakes.
A Surgery That Should Not Have Been Needed
This was a lesson Victoria and Steve Stamper learned when a surgical error by Dr. Michael Draznik left Victoria fighting for her life in 2011. Victoria Stamper shouldn’t have even needed to have the surgery that put her life in jeopardy, but an earlier mistake by Draznik during a routine partial hysterectomy left Victoria with scar tissue, and with remnants of a fallopian tube inside of her. This was in March of 2010.
For more than a year, Victoria battled with pain and gastrointestinal distress. On July 8, 2011, Draznik performed another operation to remove the rest of the fallopian tube — which no one had even told her was still there until a few days earlier — and, in the course of the procedure, nicked her bowel. The perforated bowel went undetected for four days, during which time Victoria suffered pain, fever, tachycardia, hypotension and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). In short, Victoria Stamper became septic during those four days where her condition went undiagnosed by Draznik or anyone else at Christ Hospital. It took three full days for anyone to even order an abdominal CT scan.
Victoria Stamper underwent numerous surgeries and procedures, and was intubated for approximately a week. When they finally pulled the tube out, Victoria couldn’t catch her breath. The damage to her lungs, caused by the delay in diagnosis, left her with permanent lung damage. She lost 20 percent of her lung capacity, and still uses a walker to get around.
Successfully Building A Case
The case against Michael Draznik was complex; there were multiple parties involved, and the medical professional fought malpractice charges at every step of the way. This type of complex litigation requires a skillful and dedicated trial attorney, which is why the Stampers turned to Crandall & Pera Law’s own Marc Pera for their medical malpractice case. Over the course of two weeks, Marc used thousands of pages’ worth of medical documentation and records, interviews, hospital policies and discovery to show that the negligence of Michael Draznik led to Victoria’s undiagnosed sepsis and resulting permanent injuries. After only three days of deliberations, the Hamilton County jury ruled in favor of the Stampers, and awarded them $1.2 million dollars in damages: $700,000 for Victoria and $425,000 for her husband, Steve, for his loss of consortium.
For attorneys like Marc Pera, these are bittersweet victories. Yes, the Stampers found justice in a courtroom — but this could have and should have been avoided.
Here are some other past case results:
Largest Verdict In Lucas County History Against Dr. Ernest Lindell
Josh was only a teenager when he was paralyzed by a Toledo surgeon who negligently plunged an instrument he was using into Josh’s spinal cord, causing permanent damage. Despite the obvious negligence Dr. Lindell’s insurance company, ProAssurance, denied his claim and fought the case for many years by delaying the case and hiring lawyers to take the case to trial.
Thankfully, a jury found in favor of Josh, his mom and dad, providing the family the largest verdict in Lucas County history: $10 million. Josh has used this compensation for education, equipment and housing better equipped for his paralysis and future medical care, including research and care into curing his paralysis.
Misdiagnosis Caused Severe Brain Damage
A 10-year-old girl was diagnosed with a stomach virus when she really had an appendicitis. She was hospitalized for four days where no radiology studies or lab work was done to identify the problem. Her parents kept complaining of her declining health until she arrested from her infection spreading throughout her body. This arrest left her brain damaged and unable to speak, feed herself or take care of herself in any way.
The settlement of $8.5 million enabled her family to take her home, equip a special house for her needs, and provide her with nursing care and future medical care. The family has also invested in unique medical therapy, including hyperbaric oxygen chamber therapy and potential stem cell therapy.
Here are some of our other notable medical malpractice settlements and verdicts:
$4.5 Million Settlement: John Doe V. ABC Hospital Columbus, Ohio
A young boy was in the hospital for pain in his stomach. A radiology study was being done to determine the cause and possible surgery for it. Because of the pain his breathing was difficult and had to be continually monitored. During the study his family was with him and became concerned that he was not breathing correctly. Despite their protests the staff ignored them and proceeded with the study. He ultimately stopped breathing completely and suffered brain injury when they were not able to perform CPR in a timely manner because of the delay. Because of the workup and time spent investigating the case, we were able to settle this matter before filing the case. The settlement was used to set up a trust for the child, enabling him to purchase special equipment and care to take care of his many needs due to his brain injury.
$3.5 Million Settlement: Jane Doe V. ABC Hospital Columbus, Ohio
A young married woman who had two young boys was admitted to her local hospital for an infection of her wound site after a recent spine surgery. She needed and IV line established so she could receive fluids and her needed antibiotics to cure her infection. Had this happened she would have been fine, the infection cured by these medications. Unfortunately, the nursing staff delayed placing the IV line during the day and the entire evening. By morning her condition had worsened and she never recovered, eventually dying of her infection which had then shut down her important organs.
$3.15 Million Settlement: Jane Doe V. ABC Hospital Cincinnati, Ohio
A young teenage developed a genetic spinal malformation and was eventually operated on at a local hospital. During the surgery her spinal cord was being monitored by staff to ensure it was not put under undue stress by the procedure. Unfortunately, the obvious signs on the monitor were overlooked by an inexperienced and negligent staff member allowing the surgery to proceed when it should have been stopped. Upon waking up she was found to be permanently paralyzed from the waist level down confining her to a wheelchair. After this settlement she was able to attend an outstanding University, which was well-known for being handicapped-accessible, and now lives in a specially designed home to accommodate and help with her paralysis. She remains an inspirational client with an eye toward curing her condition some day. She is also now contemplating to attend law school to help others.
$3 Million Verdict: Leslie Hall V. Dr. Helmut Schrieber Cleveland, Ohio
Les Hall elected to have bariatric surgery after having failed at losing weight for many decades. He went to Dr. Schrieber who had advertised his services and program for this type of surgery as one of the best in Ohio. After surgery, Les developed a leak in his intestinal tract at the area where the surgery was performed. Many signs and symptoms developed, which were consistent with this leak; however, Dr. Schrieber did not follow up on these. Les eventually became infected throughout his body and, although he survived his ordeal, he suffered permanent and painful nerve damage, which affected his ability to walk and take care of himself. At trial, Dr. Schrieber attempted to blame other physicians for his failure to follow up. A Cuyahoga County jury returned a verdict in Les Hall’s favor. Les’ client testimonial regarding my representation of him can be found on AVVO.com and this website. He remains a close friend and has referred me cases frequently throughout the years.
$2.75 Million Settlement For Child With Brain Injury In Southwest Ohio
A young boy in southwest Ohio suffered a severe brain injury as a result of ABC Corporation’s negligence. Shortly before trial, ABC Corp agreed to a $2.75 million settlement. This case is special to us for a couple of reasons. First, with the use of a structured settlement, the young boy will be taken care of financially for the rest of his life. Second, the law in this case was so difficult that several attorneys turned the case down. This will go down as one of the most satisfying cases we have ever handled.
$2.45 Million Settlement: Jane Doe V. ABC Hospital Cincinnati, Ohio
A young woman was not properly diagnosed in the emergency room as well as on the floor of a hospital leading to continued seizure activity. Unfortunately this caused permanent brain injury and led to the necessity of physical therapy and other home-based care. This case was resolved after various experts were hired and a settlement demand was made prior to filing a lawsuit. The settlement was able to provide much-needed medical care and even a trust to help treat the condition for the remainder of the client’s lifetime.
$2.2 Million Settlement: Jane Doe V. ABC Hospital Newark, Ohio
This case was a tragedy but was fortunately settled before a lawsuit had to be filed. A young woman died after a short stay in the hospital due to an undiagnosed infection. She left behind a husband and two children they had together. Due to the settlement we were able to provide college and retirement funds for the boys and the surviving spouse, respectively. While the compensation doesn’t begin to make up for the loss, it was put to good use to advance the family and provide them security for education and allow child care help as well.
$2 Million Verdict: Woodruff V. Lima Memorial Hospital Lima, Ohio
Mr. Woodruff, a married man with numerous children, was admitted to LMH to have a procedure. While there he was placed on a ventilator after the procedure was completed. He began to show signs of a decrease in oxygen, which were ignored by the nursing staff. In fact, they attempted to blame a physician for not responding to their alleged complaints. Eventually, because he was being deprived of oxygen, Mr. Woodruff became disorientated and he dislodged his breathing tube, which caused him to go into arrest. This was also mismanaged and led to his eventual death. An Allen County jury provided this award, which at the time was the largest verdict in the county’s history.
$2 Million Settlement: Jane Doe And Family V. ABC Hospital Anonymous Ohio City
A 59-year-old woman just completed successful heart transplant surgery and was set to be discharged home. She developed shortness of breath, and an X-ray confirmed fluid had collected around one of her lungs. A simple procedure needed to be done to drain the fluid and allow her to breath easier. The X-ray was ordered in the early morning hours by a resident and then not properly communicated to various attending physicians who saw her later that same day. Both attending physicians failed to appreciate the X-ray findings and her condition began to deteriorate. Unfortunately she suffered a respiratory arrest when the fluid was not drained, which left her with brain damage. She was unable to care for herself independently and required attention by her children at all times. This matter was settled a few weeks before trial and allowed for a trust to be set up to pay for home nursing care, medical equipment and home modifications for her to live safely.
$1.7 Million Settlement: John Doe V. ABC Hospital Lima, Ohio
This remains one of the most disturbing cases we’ve ever handled. The clients were a happy and close-knit family whose father had heart surgery. After surgery his wound became infected and was being treated with another operation. During the evening his wound began bleeding slowly but obvious signs were there. The nurse on staff that night was new and ignored the signs of bleeding. In addition, she later changed her records in an attempt to avoid liability. An expert in chart alterations was hired, who caught her in this attempt. Despite the chart alteration and the obvious and gross negligence, the defendant’s fought and the case was not settled until years later and the week before trial.
$1.3 Million Settlement: Jane Doe V. Unnamed Family Practice In Southern Ohio
Jane Doe sought help from her family practitioner with signs of sepsis: a racing heart, fever, elevated temperature and low oxygen level. She was diagnosed with a headache and sent home. She became unresponsive at home the following day and could not be saved. The family practice agreed to settle the case for $1.3 million before trial. The money will help her husband better provide for the small children she left behind.
$1.1 Million Settlement: Jane Doe V. ABC Hospital Cleveland, Ohio
A woman in her 50′s was in her local hospital recovering from surgery when she began to develop pneumonia. Her oxygen saturation rates dropped several times during the day, and she had signs of chest pain and infection in her lungs. These signs were ignored by the nurses and doctors, and she eventually arrested and died in the early morning. Litigation ensued, and we deployed numerous experts to prove this case. After many depositions, and before trial, we were able to resolve this matter. The decedent and her husband had adopted their grandchild, who was very young at the time of her death. The settlement enabled him to be better taken care of and look forward to a college degree.
$910,000 Verdict: Kelly Maron Et Al. V. Lake Health Systems And Dr. Timothy Pritchard Lake County, Ohio
A surgical towel was left in Kelly’s abdomen after a June 2009 surgery to remove colon cancer and was not discovered until November 2009. It caused the removal of two out of three of Kelly’s small bowel and massive digestive issues that will last her entire life. Tried in Lake County Court of Common Pleas, the verdict reached on August 30, 2012, for this case has been informally reported as the largest medical negligence verdict in that county’s history.
$700,000 Settlement: Estate Of Jane Doe V. ABC Anonymous Kentucky Hospital
Settlement of $700,000 for nursing negligence that led to the death of a 48-year-old school teacher after a surgical procedure.
$515,000 Verdict: Mcknight V. Rudolph Moreira, MD
Monica McKnight was in end-stage renal failure and needed dialysis to live. Unfortunately, the port in her abdomen became infected. She sought help from Dr. Moreira. Dr. Moreira surgically removed the port and sought to insert a new catheter in her jugular vein. Dr. Moreira, however, negligently inserted it into her carotid artery. A clot developed, and Ms. McKnight died a couple of days later. She was 57, but given her extensive health problems, had a life expectancy of only 3-7 years. The jury found Dr. Moreira negligent and awarded Ms. McKnight’s family $515,000 for their loss.
Every case is different, and the verdicts and settlement figures listed by Crandall & Pera Law are not a guarantee of similar outcomes for other clients and cases.