The Injury Law Center is a New Hampshire based personal injury firm representing clients in Motor Vehicle Accidents, Catastrophic Injury, Medical Malpractice, and Slip & Fall accidents. Joe and his team also represent clients in Massachusetts and New York.
In their guest blog below, Injury Law Center shares their client’s story and their fight to hold the hospital accountable.
Congratulations to Joe Russo and his team at the Injury Law Center, and your client for an outstanding verdict! Advocate Capital Inc. is proud to support you and your team as you tirelessly fight for justice on behalf of your clients.
Senior Executive Client Manager
Injury Law Center Fights to Secure a $400,000 Verdict
This case involved a claim for medical malpractice which occurred in a hospital emergency room. Our client presented to the ER with complaints of eye swelling. The hospital staff ordered an intra-muscular injection of Solumedrol, which is an anti-inflammatory medication. My client informed the hospital staff that he had a fear of needles. Needle phobia is a DSM-IV recognized condition. The attending nurse wasn’t aware of the gravity of this phobia.
The standard of care is to distract the patient during the injection and to give him sufficient time to rest after receiving the injection. Then, the patient should be monitored in a seated and standing position to ensure he is not a fall risk. If the patient needs to be transferred, the nurse must assist the patient when ambulating. In this case, the nurse administered the injection and minimized his fear by telling the patient “everyone is afraid of needles.” She then gave the patient only a couple of minutes to rest before turning her back on him and telling him to follow her to a waiting room until the medication took effect in order to free up the surgical room.
The patient stood and immediately suffered a vasovagal event, or a sudden drop in blood pressure which caused the patient to collapse and fall face-first on the ground leading to a bilateral jaw fracture, a degloving injury to the gum line, and a permanent mental nerve injury below the chin.
With the help of Advocate Capital, we were able to retain a top-notch nursing expert who practiced at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston to opine on standard of care/liability and an otolaryngologist who practiced in New York City to opine on damages. We went up against a firm with unlimited resources and was able to match them dollar for dollar on the cost of litigation based on the funding we had in place.
The jury returned a verdict in the amount of $400,000, which was well in excess of how the hospital’s insurance carrier valued the case and our client’s expectations.
Moreover, the defense appealed the verdict, assuming we would be willing to enter into post-verdict settlement discussions to avoid the uncertainty and length of an appeal. Appellate work is difficult for a plaintiff’s attorney because we work on contingency. Effectively, we would be working the appeal for free to protect the verdict we already had in place. Given our inexperience handling appeals, and given that the verdict exceeded our client’s expectations, he was amenable to us retaining separate appellate counsel who charged by the hour. This counted as a litigation expense. Again, we used Advocate Capital to fund the appeal process which allowed us to focus our attention on other matters.
Having access to Advocate Capital provided monumental support in our ability to try the case and fight off the appeal.