A Crack in the Sidewalk Led to a $7.2-Million-Dollar Settlement and 5 New Cases*
by Margaret M. Gallagher, RN, BSN, MSN, CLNC
One of my favorite attorney-clients represented a building owner who was being sued for more than $20 million dollars. Negligence was asserted due to a substantial crack in the sidewalk that resulted in the fall of a 30-year-old man. The gentleman died 27 days after the fall as a result of a subdural hematoma.
My attorney-client recommended my CLNC® services to the lead law firm.
The attorney sent me 500 pages of medical records. He represented the excess carrier and therefore another firm was responsible for the lead trial preparation. After my review, I communicated to my attorney-client that in my opinion, the hospital physician did not fully appreciate the patient’s neurological symptoms in the emergency room and the days following admission. I requested the opportunity to review the entire chart. Since my attorney-client was not the lead attorney, he recommended my CLNC® services to the lead law firm.
My review of the medical records revealed deviations from the standards of care related to the nursing staff and the physicians. The lead attorney (my new client) commenced a third party action based on my review. The hospital, two physicians and the patient’s primary nurse contributed $6.5 million dollars toward a settlement. The case was resolved for a total settlement of $7.2 million dollars. The result was evaluated to be extremely positive for my new attorney-client who paid $700,000 on a high exposure case. My original attorney-client paid nothing.
In the past year I have received five cases from the new attorney-client and his partners. I have been told I am their only legal nurse consultant and they expect to grow the medical malpractice component of their business.
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