Medical Malpractice

Failure to diagnose fetal distress

Settlement from obstetrician for brain-injured child for failure to perform C-section sooner.

Patient Dies From Pulmonary Emboli Following Cancer Surgery

Settlement for family of man who died after undergoing major abdominal surgery for appendiceal cancer. Post-operatively, the surgeon ordered Venodyne boots be applied to the patient’s lower extremities in order to mitigate the risk of the patient developing pulmonary emboli. A nurse caring for the patient, however, failed to apply the boots during a 12 hour shift. Soon after, the patient collapsed and died from bilateral pulmonary emboli.

Hospice company overmedicates patient for 5 years

A week before trial was scheduled to begin, SUGARMAN principals David McCormack and Benjamin Zimmermann reached a significant settlement for their client and her husband in a case involving negligent hospice care over the course of many years. SUGARMAN’s client was an at-home hospice patient of the defendants for over 5 years and had been prescribed excessive and increasing amounts of narcotic pain medications to the point where she was unable to perform basic tasks. After not receiving answers to their concerns about the client’s deteriorating condition, her family brought her to a local hospital, where medical providers immediately began weaning her off all the medications. The client’s condition improved almost immediately. Through discovery and motion practice, SUGARMAN uncovered the hospice company’s employee bonus program which incentivized employees to keep patients in hospice care and to avoid patients from being seen at hospitals or by outside providers. During the case, SUGARMAN also defeated the defendants’ motion seeking to dismiss the case on various legal grounds — a Superior Court judge found that all of the client’s claims were legally and factually supported. The settlement was the second largest personal injury settlement reported in Massachusetts for 2021.

Pharmacy Dispenses Wrong Medication

Pre-trial settlement for man who developed severe Levaquin-induced tendonitis with resulting complications after his local pharmacy dispensed Levaquin to him instead of a sleep aid. The error went undetected for two months.

Colorectal cancer goes undetected

Settlement for family of man who died from colorectal cancer as a result of his primary care physician’s failure to perform a sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy or any of the accepted methods for screening and detecting colorectal cancer. By the time the patient’s colorectal cancer was diagnosed, it had metastasized to his liver and lungs.

Failure to diagnose acute coronary episode

Settlement against a primary care physician following the death of a father of two children who died from myocardial infarction as a result of the defendant’s failure to appreciate the severity and cause of the patient’s complaints and failure to properly interpret the patient’s EKG readings.

Medical malpractice – Doctor’s failure to diagnose heart attack

Settlement of wrongful death lawsuit against a primary care physician following the death of a father of two children who suffered a heart attack. The defendant doctor failed to appreciate the severity and cause of the patient’s complaints and failed to properly interpret the patient’s EKG readings.

Kidney Damage From Over-Prescription Of NSAIDS

Settlement of medical malpractice case on behalf of 70-year-old patient who was over-prescribed NSAIDS (Indomethacin) by physician and nurse practitioner in Quincy, MA, to treat gout for more than two years. The medication caused irreversible kidney failure, forcing the patient into dialysis for several years.

Verdict in labor and delivery medical malpractice case

Following a two-week trial in Suffolk County Superior Court in Boston, SUGARMAN Principals Benjamin Zimmermann and David McCormack obtained a $30.55 million jury verdict on behalf of a child who suffered permanent and catastrophic brain injuries during his mother’s labor and delivery at a Boston hospital. The jury agreed that the nurse responsible for monitoring the baby’s heart rate and well-being during labor had failed to ensure that the baby was responding appropriately and that the nurse’s failure to comply with the standard of care resulted in the baby’s severe oxygen deprivation going undetected. The jury awarded damages for both the young boy and his parents.

Failure to diagnose lung cancer

Settlement against physicians who failed to follow up on x-ray report of mass in lung in 76-year-old patient who subsequently died from lung cancer.

Failure to diagnose and treat coronary artery disease

Settlement against primary care physician for family of patient with multiple high risk factors who died from myocardial infarction.

Negligent Lumbar Disc Surgery

Settlement for 48-year-old patient when spinal surgeon damages a nerve root during surgery.

Wrongful death – Complications of colonoscopy

Settlement of medical malpractice lawsuit for widow and family of middle-aged man who became brain damaged and ultimately died as a result of a ruptured spleen suffered during a colonoscopy. While the complication is rare, it is known to occur. The medical negligence case/wrongful death case was brought for failure to recognize signs of splenic rupture and bleeding in the hours following the procedure.

Obstetrical malpractice for failure to perform emergency C-Section

Settlement against doctors who failed to perform a C-section in time, leading to oxygen deprivation and Cerebral Palsy in infant.

Jury verdict for Massachusetts woman injured on operating table

An Essex County jury sitting in Newburyport rendered a verdict in favor of a 42-year-old woman who suffered significant neck injuries at a hospital in Lynn, MA, after being positioned on an operating room table for routine surgery. After she was anesthetized and medically paralyzed, her unsecured head fell off the table resulting in permanent nerve damage to her neck.

Patient suffers debilitating stroke after not receiving medication

Pre-suit settlement of medical malpractice case for 61-year-old man who suffered major stroke after his doctors and nurses failed to administer a critical medication for two days while the man was a hospital inpatient following cardiac surgery.

Medical Malpractice
Wrongful death following surgery at Boston-area VA hospital

Settlement for widow and adult children of a 71 year-old veteran following improper placement of a feeding tube during esophagus surgery. During two separate surgeries, the defendant surgeon failed to secure the feeding tube into the small bowel and instead pierced the bowel, causing bile leakage, infection and the patient’s death. The case resolved following extensive discovery and prior to trial in the Federal Court for the District of Massachusetts.

Extensive discovery leads to settlement after man suffers amputation at Boston-area hospital

Recovery for 31 year-old man following the negligent maintenance and removal of an Intra-Aortic Balloon Pump (IABP) at a Boston-area hospital, resulting in clotting, arterial tearing and eventual below-the-knee amputation. The plaintiff brought suit against multiple defendants presumed to be responsible for pressure applied to the IABP during the hematoma control and for the attempted balloon removal. The case settled following over a dozen depositions conducted by Sugarman attorneys, who were able to uncover the responsible medical providers, some of whom had not been identified in the medical records.

Cosmetic breast surgery malpractice

Settlement in medical malpractice cases for two separate patients of the same doctor who negligently performed elective breast procedures resulting in permanent disfigurement to both women.

Kirkwood-Boulter, et al. v. Massachusetts General Hospital, et al., 35 Mass. L. Rptr. 38 (2018)

The Massachusetts Appeals Court affirmed the trial court’s denial of a protective order requested by the defendant, Massachusetts General Hospital (“MGH”), in a medical malpractice case involving a labor and delivery at the hospital. MGH’s attorneys had sought to prevent SUGARMAN from questioning hospital witnesses as to whether or not the medical providers involved in the labor and delivery, including a travelling nurse supplied to MGH by a staffing company, had complied with MGH’s internal policies regarding fetal heart monitoring of the baby. The Appellate Court, however, agreed with SUGARMAN that such questions were permissible under the Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure. SUGARMAN’s attorneys eventually resolved the medical malpractice claims against the MGH providers before obtaining a $30.55 million jury verdict against the corporation that had supplied the travelling nurse to MGH.

Arbitration award for death caused by respiratory depression

Arbitration award for the family of a 68-year-old man who passed away just 12 hours following a routine hip replacement surgery. The patient died from complications of respiratory depression caused by the standard post-operative administration of narcotic pain medications.

Death as a result of doctor’s failure to diagnose cardiac condition

Wrongful death settlement for widow and family of 48-year-old man against primary care physician for failure to properly examine, diagnose and treatment cardiac condition. The patient died as a result of the doctor’s malpractice.

Anoxic brain injury and death

Settlement against physician and hospital following the death of a seventy-eight- year-old woman, who died from anoxic encephalopathy following an inappropriate dosage and combination of narcotic and anti-anxiety medications, and improper monitoring during MRI.

Displacement of lumbar interbody graft following surgery

Medical malpractice settlement for young mother and her family against a neurosurgeon who failed to properly place a lumbar interbody graft during a fusion surgery. Post-operative stage diagnostic studies revealed that the graft was displaced and deforming her iliac vein and arteries. The patient subsequently underwent two life threatening procedures and was left with significant neurological injuries.