$467K Verdict In Brain Injury Suit Proper and Adequate

Aviv Peretz, Ilana and Meir Peretz’s son suffered a serious dairy allergy after eating multiple bites of a cookie in June 2014 and was rushed to CentraState Medical Center. At the hospital, 17-year-old Aviv Peretz had a seizure and his heart stopped for 13 minutes, putting him in a vegetative state from which he would not recover. He died in 2017…law360, NJ Panel Won’t Question $467K Verdict In Brain Injury Suit, Cara Salvatore, 2020

Ilana and Meir Peretz sued CentraState Medical Center and medical staff and won a trial judgment of $467,000 in 2018. However, they appealed, noting particularly the fact that the defense was allowed to repeatedly bring up the fact that Aviv had an EpiPen and didn’t use it.

The appeals court contended that the early administration of epinephrine to an anaphylactic patient was the central issue in this case and the information that Aviv ingested a dairy product to which he was allergic and that he had not used his EpiPen in the thirty minutes prior to his arrival at the emergency department were crucial facts. The defendants were right in bringing it up.

The appeals court upheld the trial court judgement, including the dismissal of Meir Peretz’s emotional distress claim, saying that it was legally proper.

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Kayur V. Patel, MD, MRO, FACP, FACPE, FACHE, FACEP
KayurVPatel@ExpertWitness.MD

Absence of “Res Ipsa Loquitur” theory Prompts New Trial in Surgery Suit

Alma Willis underwent a 12-hour surgery with Dr. Jeffery Flagg on May 21, 2008 to treat her back issues but ended up having temporary swelling and permanent nerve damage in both arms. It was not clear how the arm injuries occurred, and Willis couldn’t testify as to what happened since she was under anesthesia during the operation…law360, Court Axes Defense Verdict In Suit Over Surgery, Cara Salvatore, 2020

However, Willis’ trial judge banned any evidence concerning a “res ipsa loquitur” theory — in Latin, “the thing itself speaks” — which can allow a jury to find negligence where the precise source of an injury isn’t known.

The appeals court ruled that since the experts here could not conclusively establish the cause of Willis’s injury, she could rely on circumstantial evidence to establish her claim. It also said in its ruling that the trial court was wrong in excluding Willis’s experts from testifying that the injury to Willis’s median nerve would not have occurred in the absence of negligence.”

The appeals court ordered a new trial so that this evidence could be presented.

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Kayur V. Patel, MD, MRO, FACP, FACPE, FACHE, FACEP
KayurVPatel@ExpertWitness.MD