Jury awards $550,000 for Cardiology Malpractice

VerdictSearch New York Reporter Vol. 28, Issue 32

Denise Keefer, Individually and as Administratrix of the Estate of Sally Koziol v.

Owais Ahmed, M.D., Cardiology Associates, P.C., United Health Services Hospital, Inc. d/b/a Wilson Regional Medical Center, Issac M. Matta, M.D. and United Medical Associates, P.C.

DATE OF VERDICT/SETTLEMENT: February 08, 2010

RESULT: Verdict-Plaintiff

Award Total: $557,543

ATTORNEYS:

Plaintiff: Charles L. Falgiatano; DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers

Defendant: David F. McCarthy; Levene, Gouldin & Thompson; Binghamton, NY (Owais Ahmed, M.D.); Charles O. Ingraham; Aswad & Ingraham; Binghamton, NY (Wilson Regional Medical Center Wilson Regional Medical Cent); None reported (Cardiology Associates, P.C., Isaac M. Matta, M.D., James J. Vincens, M.D., United Medical Associates, P.C.)

INJURIES: Koziol suffered chest pain, dyspnea and irregular heart rhythms prior to her death on Nov. 10, 2005.

Facts:

Denise Keefer, acting individually and as the administratrix of Ms. Koziol's estate, sued Dr. Ahmed, Dr. Vincens, Cardiology Associates, P.C., United Health Services Hospital Inc. Dr. Isaac Matta and United Medical Associates, P.C. She alleged that the defendants had departed from accepting medical standards in their failing to examine Ms. Koziol after a change in presentation; failing to perform a cardiac catheterization; failing to properly communicate clinical changes; and failing to perform necessary consultations.

A cardiology expert testified for Ms. Keefer that Dr. Vincens was negligent in failing to provide the proper information to Dr. Ahmed. He further testified that it was incumbent on Dr. Ahmed to examine Ms. Koziol and perform a cardiac catheterization once Ms. Koziol's clinical presentation changed, which included elevated troponin, wheezing, an abnormal EKG at 8 p.m. showing a heart attack, shortness of breath, a cool and clammy appearance, and a rapid, erratic heart rate.

A nursing practices expert testified for Ms. Keefer that all clinical changes that occurred needed to be relayed to the doctors. She further testified that the on-call cardiologist should have been asked to come in by the floor nurse, and if one failed to, that the floor nurse should have gotten one.

Defense counsel's cardiologist testified that Dr. Vincens had performed all of his responsibilities properly. Further testimony supported that Dr. Ahmed had taken appropriate action to order Cardizem given the information he was provided. A second cardiologist testified for the defense that the nursing staff of United Health Services Hospital conformed to standards of care and provided the necessary information.

Ms. Koziol's estate argued that Ms. Koziol's family lost the matriarch of the family as she organized many of the gatherings for family holidays and contributed significantly to the raising of children.

The estate sought the recovery of damages for pain and suffering experienced by the decedent on Nov. 10, 2005, loss of future earnings from Social Security, and funeral expenses for loss of guidance sustained by the decedent's family.

The jury found United Health Services Hospital to be 75 percent liable and Ahmed to be 25 percent liable.