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Category: Case Results

The Intricacy of Complex Medical Histories

Skip Jewett, Karissa Owens, and Matt Hicks

At Rissman, experience is critical. We’ve developed highly informed instincts, finely honed skills, and an appetite for ever greater challenges. Those skills were put to the test in a recent medical malpractice case.

In the case at hand, Rissman attorneys Skip Jewett, Karissa Owens, and Matt Hicks obtained a defense verdict in a nine-day jury trial concerning the decedent’s treatment and subsequent death following difficulties with sleep apnea and various other medical issues.

The plaintiff, the decedent’s surviving spouse, alleged that our client improperly prescribed extended-release morphine, putting him at increased risk for respiratory compromise associated with the medication. She further alleged that our client failed to appropriately monitor and investigate the patient, as he was also being treated at the VA for PTSD and obtaining prescriptions for anxiety, depression, and insomnia, which added further risk for respiratory depression. 

The plaintiff asked for a hefty sum in damages—but the jury deliberated for less than two hours before returning a defense verdict. 

Special thanks to our fellow Rissman colleagues Jamie Lerew, Seth Virshup, and Theresa Bardugone for trial support in this nuanced case.


Our Rissman Victories Series showcases some of the most relevant and timely examples of our expertise and highly practiced approach. We consider the interests of our clients as paramount, and take pride in delivering consistent and meaningful results time and again.

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