ClickCease Medical Negligence | Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger

Medical Negligence

In Family v. Teaching Hospital and Surgeon (confidential settlement), Michael Kelly and Melinda Derish resolved a medical negligence wrongful death claim for $5.8 million on behalf of the widow and children of a young executive who died after routine back surgery. The patient was kept postoperatively for pain management with narcotic medications administered via an intravenous pump, and the plan was for him to go home the next day. When the surgeon rounded that evening his patient had an elevated pulse rate (tachycardia) so he summoned a hospital resident to transfer the patient to the ICU and obtain a cardiology consult. The surgeon left the hospital and the resident thereafter asked another resident to see the patient. Neither resident transferred the patient to the ICU. The patient went on to suffer a cardiorespiratory arrest. The two residents claimed that the surgeon had not made it clear that he wanted the patient transferred to the ICU. They also claimed that they telephoned a cardiologist who told them they did not need to transfer the patient. All defendants claimed the patient had not received enough narcotic to cause a respiratory arrest. Mike and Melinda proved that the hospital violated its own narcotic policies by failing to retain the records of how much narcotic had been administered. The general damage recovery for the widow and three children was limited to a total of $250,000 by the unfair and barbaric MICRA cap.