Claire Neiger Obtains Defense Verdict in Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Trial with Leg Amputation

Claire Neiger secured a defense verdict for a large hospital and healthcare system in Philadelphia in a medical malpractice action.  Decedent’s estate sought $2 million from the hospital and health system, alleging that Defendant hospital failed to properly monitor and ambulate decedent during his discharge from a bronchoscopic biopsy procedure.  Plaintiff alleged he was still under the effects of the general anesthesia when he got up from his stretcher in the PACU recovery room and fell to the ground injuring his leg.  Plaintiff alleged his leg was not properly examined or treated and the failure to do so led to pain and swelling which was diagnosed as compartment syndrome 2 days later at another, non-party hospital.  Plaintiff underwent an unsuccessful open fasciotomy and ultimately had the leg amputated.  Decedent died one month after the amputation.  The Decedent’s estate filed a lawsuit in Philadelphia County against the hospital and healthcare system seeking punitive damages for their alleged negligence.

Prior to trial, Defendant hospital had offered to attend high/low ADR  which plaintiff rejected.  After jury selection, Defendant Hospital offered $95,000 to settle which was also rejected by Plaintiff.  Then, before opening arguments, Claire Neiger argued several crucial Motions in Limine to preclude photographs of decedent’s injured and amputated leg, wrongful death claim, and punitive damages. All of the Defendants’ Motions in Limine were granted in Defendant’s hospital’s favor.  After prevailing on their Motions in Limine, Defendant hospital decided to continue to trial with no further offers.  Plaintiff presented expert testimony and evidence arguing that Defendant hospital was negligent by failing to properly ambulate decedent during discharge and failing to treat decedent after the fall.  Plaintiff further alleged Defendant hospital was negligent by allowing decedent to remain on the hospital bed unattended while still heavily sedated.  Plaintiff presented expert testimony bolstering his allegations.  In addition, Plaintiff presented emotional testimony from decedent’s widow, sister, and nephews regarding the alleged negligence and the pain and suffering caused by the compartment syndrome and amputation.  Defense countered by presenting expert testimony opining that decedent was awake, alert and oriented at his discharge and was not under any effects of the sedatives previously administered. 

Ultimately, the jury agreed with Attorney Neiger and rendered a defense verdict.