News Brief

Sternberg and Levine Obtain Defense Verdict in OB/GYN Medical Malpractice Case

January 2, 2019

Dov G. Sternberg (Partner-NYC), assisted by Jennifer A. Levine (Associate-NYC), obtained a unanimous defense verdict in New York State Supreme Court, Suffolk County on December 11, 2018, in defense of an OB/GYN physician. The plaintiff alleged negligent performance of a C-section causing a small bowel herniation. The plaintiff claimed the need for exploratory laparotomy, reduction of the small bowel and multiple subsequent hernias requiring surgical repairs, causing daily abdominal pain and the inability to perform activities of daily living. The plaintiff’s pre-trial settlement demand was $750,000.

We maintained a no-pay position, arguing that the incarcerated hernia and small bowel obstruction were an accepted risk of a repeat C-section and occurred as a result of the plaintiff’s chronic cough and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) caused by smoking. On cross-examination Dov pointed out multiple inconsistencies between the plaintiff’s testimony at trial as opposed to her deposition testimony three years earlier, which cast doubt on the accuracy of her recollection of the treatment at issue. During cross-examination of the plaintiff’s expert, Dov elicited testimony that plaintiff’s expert was hired on the eve of trial, offered his opinion without reviewing all pertinent records and had not performed a C-section himself in more than eight years. At closing, the plaintiff asked the jury for $900,000.

After a two-week trial, it took the jury only 70 minutes to reach a unanimous defense verdict. Paralegals Frank Howell and Lizandro Pacheco provided excellent support in this matter.

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