Rissman Trial Results

  • Murphy v. Lamon
    Congratulations Richard Mangan and Ted Copeland for obtaining a defense verdict for Dr. David Lamon and Naples Surgical Associates in the Murphy case in behalf of MAG Mutual. Rose Murphy discovered a large lymph node on the side of her neck. She contacted her PCP and a CT was performed confirming the node. Plaintiff was referred to Dr. Lamon. During Dr. Lamon’s evaluation, he and Mrs. Murphy discussed two options- antibiotic therapy or excisional biopsy. Mrs. Murphy elected to proceed to biopsy. Following surgery, it became apparent that Mrs. Murphy's spinal accessory nerve had been injured during the procedure causing shoulder drop leading to deformity of the shoulder, loss of strength, loss of ability to raise her arm above shoulder level, pain and numbness. Plaintiff asserted that Dr. Lamon was negligent in not offering alternative options; should not have biopsied the "visible" node; failed to obtain informed consent; and failed to perform the procedure in an adequate manner. Mrs. Murphy testified that Dr. Lamon failed to advise of any risks at all. Defense presented evidence and testimony that antibiotic therapy and excisional biopsy of the node in question were the only acceptable medical alternatives; Dr. Lamon obtained informed consent by advising Ms. Murphy of the risks including injury to nerves, and that such injury could cause pain, numbness and loss of mobility; and the injury, although it was due to the surgery, was a known complication of the procedure that can occur without negligence. Following a four day trial, the jury deliberated for less than 75 minutes before returning the verdict in favor of Dr. Lamon and his P.A.
    Verdict Date: November 21, 2013
  • Sheridan v. State Farm
    Congratulations Dean Hewitt and Jeremy Palma for obtaining a defense verdict for State Farm this UM claim. The accident occurred in Orange County on a clear morning. Plaintiff claimed that he was at a complete stop in a median when the accident occurred and that the defendant veered from the right lane across the left lane and into the median causing the impact. Defendant claimed that his vehicle remained in the right lane until Plaintiff drove directly into his path while attempting to cross the intersection. This was a bifurcated trial on the issue of negligence only. The jury deliberated 38 before returning a defense verdict finding no negligence on the part the Defendant. State Farm will be entitled to attorney's fees and taxable costs.
    Verdict Date: October 15, 2013
    Rissman Attorney: Jeremy T. Palma
  • Tibbs v. Dr. Sondra Shields
    Congratulations Richard Mangan and Cliff Acord for obtaining a defense verdict for Dr. Sondra Shields in behalf of The Doctors Company. In this 7 day medical malpractice case, plaintiff alleged that he suffered brain damage as a result of respiratory and cardiac arrest during a LESI procedure. Plaintiff further alleged that Dr. Shields, an anesthesiologist, performed an improper and inadequate pre-anesthesia evaluation, failed to develop and communicate a proper plan of care to the CRNA , negligently supervised the CRNA during the administration of propofol, and allowed the procedure to go forward without end tidal CO2 monitoring as required by written policies. Dr. Shields, who was filing in on the day of the LESI and was responsible for directing anesthesia care, cleared Mr. Tibbs for MAC anesthesia with propofol to be administered by a CRNA. She had very little knowledge of CRNA and did not speak with her regarding plaintiffs needs as an ASA III patient with sleep apnea. The CRNA gave propofol and lost the airway. Plaintiff coded and experienced respiratory and cardiac arrest caused by both the rapid administration of the large dose of propofol and the absence of end tidal CO2 monitoring. Dr. Shields was called to the room. She intubated Mr. Tibbs and he was transferred to Brandon Hospital for further care. Mr. Tibbs developed memory loss and PTSD as a result of an alleged anoxic and/or hypoxic brain injury. He ultimately had to resign his position as a LPN because due difficulty remembering verbal orders and stress reactions when patients would code. He was subsequently fired from four other jobs as a result of his inability to perform his duties. Plaintiffs argued that Dr. Shields had the overall responsibility for all aspects of anesthesia care and that end tidal CO2 monitoring was required but not utilized. Plaintiffs' opined that Dr. Shields was ultimately responsible for the negligence of the CRNA and that Dr. Shields should have made sure that end tidal CO2 monitoring occurred. The jury returned a defense verdict in 1 hour and 10 minutes.
    Verdict Date: October 15, 2013
  • Liford v. Granados
    Congratulations John Daly and Sean Crocker for obtaining an outstanding result for the defendant driver in the case of Liford v. Granados. Defense admitted Mr. Granados' negligence had caused the crash but denied liability for plaintiff's injuries arguing they were attributable to preexisting arthritis and also that plaintiff had been negligent for failing to use her seat belt. The jury returned a defense verdict which represented a small portion of plaintiff's total past medical bills. The jury also accepted the seat belt defense and assigned 40 % comparative negligence reducing the award, which will further be reduced by collateral source set offs and ultimately result in a final judgment of zero dollars. Allstate Insurance Company insured Mr. Granados for this accident and is very pleased with the outcome.
    Verdict Date: September 27, 2013
  • Smith v. Dr. Pizzo
    Congratulations Richard Mangan and Cliff Acord for obtaining a defense verdict in the Smith case for Dr. Anthony Pizzo and Bradenton Cardiology in behalf of MAG Mutual. Plaintiff claimed Dr. Pizzo dissected Plaintiff’s right coronary artery during a diagnostic catheterization and failed to appreciate the dissection, arguably making it worse by inserting another catheter, leading to the patient coding. Ultimately, coronary artery flow was severely impaired and an inferior wall myocardial infarction resulted. Plaintiff went on to have ten stents, a double bypass, heart failure and was recommended for a future heart transplant. Plaintiff’s demand exceeded $4,000,000. Defense argued that the catheterization was the gold standard to evaluate the potential of coronary artery disease, that plaintiff had consented to the catheterization, and that the risk of dissection was part of the potential complications of the procedure. The defense did not contest past medical bills. After deliberating for approximately 3 hours, the jury returned a defense verdict.
    Verdict Date: September 23, 2013
  • Pierre v. State Farm Fire and Casualty

    Congratulations Paul Tipton for obtaining a Final Judgment of Dismissal for Fraud in the Pierre v.  State Farm Fire and Casualty UM matter on behalf of State Farm.  Plaintiff fraudulently testified that he had been in no prior or subsequent accidents, had not received treatment for injuries sustained in prior or subsequent accidents, had never been arrested, and had stopped working as a result of a job ending when he had been terminated.  This is the third lawsuit in which Paul has successfully moved for dismissal on behalf of State Farm or its insureds based on the claimant having committed fraud on the court.  The initial facts of these claims had been suspicious; however, St. Farm had not been able to deny the claims for clear policy violations.

    Verdict Date: August 27, 2013
    Rissman Attorney: F. Paul Tipton
  • Starner v. Dr. Hussein

    Congratulations Art Young and Dick Womble for obtaining a defense verdict for Dr. Maen Hussein and The Doctors Company.

    Plaintiff alleged Dr. Hussein ordered an unnecessary arterial blood gas analysis and contended the respiratory technician negligently performed the test causing damage to nerves causing her to develop reflex sympathetic dystrophy. Defense demonstrated that the procedure was necessary and that plaintiff did not present convincing proof of reflex sympathetic dystrophy. After six days of trial, the jury deliberated 70 minutes before returning a defense verdict.


    Verdict Date: August 26, 2013
    Rissman Attorney: Art C. Young Richard S. Womble
  • Donahue v. Decade Gulfcoast Hotel Partners

    Congratulations Karissa Owens and Amy Baker for obtaining a defense verdict on behalf of Decade Gulfcoast Hotel Partners (and Amtrust/AIX). The Plaintiff sustained an ankle fracture necessitating two surgeries after an alleged slip and fall on a pool step at the Clearwater Beach Holiday Inn. Plaintiff alleged that she slipped on the step of the hotel's pool entrance and that various conditions at the entrance way were not code compliant. The trial court precluded the defense's engineering expert and other witnesses, such as DOH inspectors, from testifying. Defendant’s expert podiatrist explained that the fracture pattern revealed an external rotation pronation injury that could not have been caused by a slip and fall.

    The jury returned a defense verdict in just 90 minutes.

    Verdict Date: August 22, 2013
    Rissman Attorney: Karissa L. Owens
  • Bostwick v. Dr. Bashore
    Congratulations Dick Womble and Juan Ruiz for obtaining a defense verdict for Dr. Robert Bashore and The Doctors Company. Plaintiff alleged that three doctors failed to diagnose breast cancer. Defendants proved Plaintiff had a benign fibroadenoma which was later invaded by an uncommon lobular carcinoma, which is undetectable on diagnostic tests, and that with treatment the plaintiff has an 85% chance of no recurrence and a normal life expectancy. The trial lasted 13 days. The jury deliberated for 9 1/2 hours over two days.
    Verdict Date: August 14, 2013
    Rissman Attorney: Richard S. Womble Juan A. Ruiz
  • Bates v. Ackerman
    Congratulations Vance Dawson and Juan Ruiz for obtaining a defense verdict for Susan Ackerman in behalf of State Farm.  Defendant rear-ended a car which was pushed into a car driven by the Plaintiff, Gary Bates. Plaintiff claimed as a result of the accident that he had to undergo a two level cervical fusion and incurred medical expenses in the amount of $115,000. Plaintiff's demand in closing was $355,000. The trial lasted 5 days. After 59 minutes of deliberation (including lunch) the jury returned a zero verdict.
    Verdict Date: June 21, 2013
    Rissman Attorney: Juan A. Ruiz
  • Denardo v. Publix Supermarkets, Inc.

    Congratulations Meredith Stephens for obtaining a dismissal with prejudice for Publix based upon Plaintiff’s fraud upon the court. The basis for the motion was that Plaintiff provided false and misleading testimony regarding the facts of a slip and fall incident.

    Plaintiff claimed injuries to her back and knee and incurred medical expenses in excess of $65,000. During her deposition, she denied knowledge of a leak in a soda pack in her cart and also denied being in the aisle where the incident occurred prior to the fall.  This testimony was contrary to the surveillance video. Defense argued that the false testimony was a clear attempt to cover up the fact that Plaintiff caused a spill in the aisle where the fall occurred and then returned to the area, where she slipped and fell in the spill she had created.

    Despite Plaintiff counsel’s argument that issues regarding the dynamics of the incident could be addressed during cross-examination and were not grounds for dismissal the court disagreed and found that the discrepancies between testimony and surveillance were evidence of Plaintiff’s attempt to defraud the court.

    Verdict Date: June 10, 2013
    Rissman Attorney: Meredith M. Stephens
  • Rounds v. Jurbala

    Congratulations Dick Womble and Will Lazenby for obtaining a defense verdict for Dr. Brian Jurbala in the Rounds case on behalf of The Doctors Company.

    Plaintiffs sued Dr. Jurbala for medical malpractice alleging that he improperly performed a cartilage repair procedure on both knees of Ms. Rounds, with insufficient experience, and that Plaintiff had arthritis in her knees which contraindicated the procedure. Plaintiffs claimed that as a result, her condition deteriorated and she was forced to undergo bilateral knee replacements.

    Defense demonstrated Dr. Jurbala did have sufficient training and that the procedure was not contraindicated.  Ms. Rounds’ present pain and disability would have been the same even if Dr. Jurbala had chosen to proceed with bilateral knee replacements instead of the cartilage repair. Defense also pointed out that Plaintiff’s expert had been suspended by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons for unethical conduct in prior expert testimony.

    The case was tried for five days with a jury deliberating for just 42 minutes before returning a defense verdict in favor of Dr. Jurbala.

    Verdict Date: June 07, 2013
    Rissman Attorney: Richard S. Womble
  • Jarvis v. Cleanevent USA, Inc.

    Congratulations Art Young for obtaining summary judgment in Jarvis v. Cleanevent USA, Inc. This case involves a slip and fall occurring in the concession area of the Amway Arena. Plaintiff alleged that he slipped and fell on a pickle on the floor causing injury to the ACL of both knees as well as separation of the AC joint in both shoulders and injury to the ligament and bone in one shoulder.

    The court granted summary judgment and found that there was no contractual duty for Cleanevent to clean this area of the arena and that there was not constructive notice of this transitory foreign substance.

    Verdict Date: May 28, 2013
  • Magwood v. ValleyCrest

    Congratulations Dean Hewitt and Jeremy Palma for obtaining a defense verdict for ValleyCrest Landscape Development in the Magwood matter. This case involves a rear-end motor vehicle accident that occurred at dusk in clear weather.

    Mrs. Magwood was traveling in the left lane when a school bus in the right lane stopped to drop off children.  Mrs. Magwood brought her vehicle to a complete stop in the left lane.  An employee of ValleyCrest brought his vehicle to a complete stop behind her.  The ValleyCrest vehicle was then rear-ended by a phantom vehicle, which fled the scene, and pushed it into the rear of the Magwood vehicle. 

    Plaintiff claimed to have sustained a herniation at C4-5 which required an anterior cervical diskectomy and fusion, incurring $187,000 in medical expenses.  Plaintiff only brought suit against ValleyCrest. 
    Verdict Date: April 30, 2013
    Rissman Attorney: Jeremy T. Palma
  • Rivera v. Concord Management

    Congratulations Richard Mangan and Cliff Acord, with the assistance of paralegal, Moira Melvin, for obtaining a defense verdict for Concord Management and Brandon Crossing Partners, in behalf of RLI Insurance in a premises liability matter involving a traumatic brain injury to a two and a half year old child.  

    On June 20, 2006, plaintiff alleged the child fell six feet from a slide to the ground striking his head. He fractured his skull and developed a life threatening subdural hematoma requiring an emergency craniotomy. At the time of trial, the child was nine years old and was still being treated for residual brain deficits. The defense claimed the child and his caretaker were trespassers to the playground.

    The trial was bifurcated and tried on the issue of liability only.  The jury deliberated for 50 minutes before returning a defense verdict.

    Verdict Date: April 24, 2013
  • Woodson v. Go
    Congratulations Dick Womble and Bowie Kuhn, with the assistance of Dana Hegerfeld, for obtaining a defense verdict for Dr. Darlene Go, Dr. Louis Scala and Florida Cardiology on behalf of The Doctors Company.

    Plaintiff claimed that after a heart catheterization, performed by Dr. Scala, a nurse incorrectly placed a device used to seal the entry point in the femoral artery. Plaintiff later developed a large occlusion which was corrected with a femoral to femoral bypass, during which nerves were damaged and neuropathy, numbness, and pain developed. Plaintiff argued that had the doctors examined the device before discharge, the placement could have been corrected with a minor procedure. 

    Defendants demonstrated that Dr. Scala examined the wound and device in the catheterization lab and there was no need to see the patient unless the nurses observed an abnormality. Further, Defendants proved the occlusion was due to an inadvertent dissection of the artery during the procedure. 

    Plaintiff's demand was $500,000. Defendants made no offer. The jury returned the defense verdict, after an 8 day trial, in just 1 hour, 40 minutes.

    Verdict Date: April 10, 2013
    Rissman Attorney: Richard S. Womble David R. Kuhn
  • Lederman v. Valadie

    Congratulations Bryan R. Snyder for obtaining a dismissal of a federal lawsuit filed against a physician who performed total hip replacement surgery on the plaintiff utilizing allegedly defective hip replacement components. The plaintiff, Paul Lederman, asserted strict product liability claims against Dr. Valadie alleging that Dr. Valadie had acted as an agent of Howmedica Osteonics Corp. ("Howmedica"), the entity that had designed, manufactured, distributed and sold the allegedly defective hip replacement components.

    The federal court concluded that Dr. Valadie was not a properly joined defendant, plaintiff's claims against Dr. Valadie related to medical negligence, and that plaintiff had impermissibly circumvented the requirements and restrictions of the medical malpractice statute.

    Verdict Date: April 10, 2013
  • Lowder v. Rosen
    Congratulations Vance Dawson and Jeremy Palma for obtaining a defense verdict, on behalf of St. Farm, in the Lowder v. Rosen matter. This rear automobile accident case involved a 70,000 pound dump truck, driven by plaintiff, and a road rage incident with a third party. The third party driver cut off Mr. Lowder and brought his vehicle to a complete stop in front of the truck. Mr. Lowder then stopped 10-12 feet behind vehicle and was rear-ended by defendant, Mr. Rosen. Mr. Rosen testified that he saw no tail lights prior to the accident, that he did not see the vehicle until it was directly in front of him, and that he unsuccessfully veered to the left in an effort to avoid impact. Plaintiff claimed to have sustained a back injury and incurred $126,000 in medical expenses. The trial lasted five days and the jury deliberated 2 hours and 50 minutes before returning a defense verdict. Defendant will be entitled to attorney's fees and costs.
    Verdict Date: February 08, 2013
    Rissman Attorney: Jeremy T. Palma
  • Shapiro v. Appelbaum, Knific & Radiology Regional Center
    Congratulations Richard Mangan and Cliff Acord for obtaining defense verdict for Daniel Appelbaum, Randolph Knific and Radiology Regional Center in behalf of MAG Mutual.  This medical negligence claim involved allegations of a 1 1/2 year delay in diagnosing breast cancer resulting in a mastectomy, chemotherapy, tumor growth, spread of the cancer, fear of recurrence and more likely than not death. Plaintiff contended that radiologist Dr. Daniel Appelbaum missed an asymmetric density on her mammogram, failed to advise her regarding density, and failed to recommend an ultrasound. Mrs. Shapiro also alleged that  radiologist Dr. Randy Knific missed the same density when he reviewed the film, failed to recognize interval changes, failed to recommend ultrasound, and failed to provide the results in a lay language letter. Plaintiff sought economic damages of $1.5 million. Defense argued that the mammogram was read correctly as showing no features suspicious for malignancy and while there were areas of increased density present , none of them rose to the level of "abnormal" findings requiring an ultrasound. The jury deliberated for 3 hours initially returning deadlocked.  An Allen charge was given and 2 hours later, the jury returned a defense verdict.
    Verdict Date: January 09, 2013