Page 27 - Verdicts and Settlements Hall of Fame: Medical Malpractice
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After it was determined that Katherine was suffering congenital 
damage to her aorta, she was transferred to another hospital for 

surgery. Her mother later claimed that this caused the child’s brain Case: Munian v. Mootabar
damage that plagues her to this day.
Attorney: JordanMerson

“Any normal person could see themselves in the Munian’s position: Firm: Kramer, Dillof, Livingston & Moore 
They kept asking for help and they sat in the hospital and nobody 
would help them. The pediatrician who would be the primary advo- Verdict: 
cate met them at the hospital and then walked off and left them at 
the hospital,” said Merson. “The family was literally forced to watch 
their baby girl have seizures.”
By Phil Albinus

After a seven-day trial and two days to deliberate, the jury of three 
A brain damaged infant and a mother in a hospital asking for help men and three women found for the plaintiffs. “I think the jury identi- 

where no one would help them. According to Jordan Merson, the ied with the family. They saw that this was a family not interested 
attorney for Katherine Munian and her mother Nicole, this was a in fame or a lawsuit or money but sometimes people are wronged 
parent’s worst nightmare.
and this was a chance for the jury to get it right for this family,” 

said Merson. “They are a great family and I am so happy for them.”
On June 14, 2006, Nicole Munian noticed that her nine day old 
daughter had trouble breathing and little appetite. She called her What stood out for Merson was the fact that this happened at a 

pediatrician who said it might be intestinal gas and to apply tea or major medical facility in the suburbs outside of Manhattan and not 
warm water to the child. After alarming changes in her breathing, some rural clinic in the middle of nowhere. “This is a hospital in 
the child was transported via ambulance to the Lawrence Hospital Westchester. Even if you were practicing medicine when medicine 

Center in Bronxville, NY where the pediatrician Dr. Grace Ilanjian was irst founded, you would know that when a family calls for help 
arrived 25 minutes later. Doctors diagnosed that she was suffering and they are saying 'my baby is having dificulty breathing and is 
from Cheyne-Stokes respiration,a condition of alternating apnea turning blue,’ that this is someone who needs medical attention,” 

and deeper breathing. She was sent to the IUC with a temperature said Merson.
of 92.2 degrees.

doctor also graded Diego’s orientation as “1,” rather than the more 
favorable “3” grade that she scored during her admission to the 
hospital. Around 3:30 p.m., Diego inally underwent the CT scan and 
the test results revealed that she was suffering an uncal herniation Diego v. Lin Zhu, LLC. 
of her brain stem. At about 4:15 p.m., Diego became comatose and 
ER staffers spent 45 minutes resuscitating and stabilizing her before Attorney: Philip A. Russotti

she received emergency brain surgery. Neurosurgeon Dr. Mitchell Firm: Wingate, Russotti & Shapiro LLP 
Levine found a large hematoma in her brain’s parietal lobe.
Verdict: $10,700,000

As a result of her injury, Diego suffers partial paralysis. Diego’s 
husband claimed that he retired prior to his wife’s accident but 
By Phil Albinus
that he has had to obtain a butcher’s job to support the family. The 

plaintiffs sought a total of $15 million and received a jury award of 
In a severe fall with a head injury, there is a golden hour for receiv- $10,700,000.
ing medical attention. Sadly, Candida Diego, a 67 year-old pharmacy 

cashier, did not receive that care in time. She suffered a stroke and Had the doctors operated on Diego even as late as the time when 
remains in a wheelchair.
she went into the CT scan her stroke and paralysis could have been 
avoided, argued Philip Russotti, the Diego family attorney. “The neu- 

At about 1 p.m. on Sept. 23, 2004, Diego fell down a light of stairs rosurgeon testiied that when you go into the CT scan you should 
while working at a drug store in Queens. She was transported via not come out any worse. But because of the delay she was comatose 
ambulance to New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens in Flush- and that’s why she had the residual stroke.”

ing. During Diego’s trip to the hospital, the EMT crew noted that her 
speech was slurred and was suffering amnesia and disorientation.
This could have been avoided, Russotti argued and the jury agreed. 
“The neurosurgeon said if I had gotten there an hour after she got the 

Upon her arrival at the hospital some 30 minutes after her fall, hospital, there is a reasonable degree of medical certainty that she 
Diego was immediately evaluated by a physician’s assistant who should have evacuated the blood, avoided the stroke and avoided 
ordered a CT scan. At about 3:15 p.m., an ER doctor noted that the necessity of being in a wheelchair.”

Diego was awake, alert and moving her extremities, however the

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