Medical Malpractice Cases


Cleveland, Ohio - June 24, 2009 -- In a recent medical malpractice case tried by Spangenberg Shibley & Liber LLP medical malpractice attorney Peter H. Weinberger, a juryawarded the plaintiff $830,000 in non-economic damages. Now, the defendants have moved to reduce that recovery on the basis of an Ohio statute that caps an injured person's award of non-economic damages - such as pain and suffering - in medical malpractice cases. The statute deprives the plaintiff of the full measure of her damages as determined by the jury that heard her case. The unfair result of the statute's application to the plaintiff is magnified by the fact that, had the plaintiff's severe injury been caused by negligence other than medical malpractice, her non-economic damages would not be subject to any limit.

Medical malpractice attorneys at Spangenberg Shibley & Liber LLP are fighting the defendants' efforts to deprive the plaintiff of her full measure of damages by challenging the constitutionality of the statute as it applies to the plaintiff in this case. SS&L attorneys are prepared to protect the plaintiff's constitutional rights and ensure that she receives the full recovery to which she is entitled.

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Medically negligent mistakes by doctors, nurses, and hospital personnel can be devastating, often resulting in permanent injury or death. The law firm of Spangenberg Shibley & Liber LLP has a preeminent reputation in the field of medical malpractice litigation. Several of our verdicts and settlements are among the largest ever awarded in the state of Ohio. Because understanding the medical evidence is so critical in cases involving medical malpractice, we employ two registered nurses on our staff.

SS&L maintains a current medical library, with access to the most up-to-date medical journals and publications, as well as on-line services, to ensure that we know the medicine as well as any doctor involved in the case. Based upon their confidence in our professional integrity, many leading medical specialists have testified as expert witnesses in our cases against negligent doctors and hospitals.

The attorneys at Spangenberg Shibley & Liber LLP believe that the health care delivery system in America is excellent, but not perfect. By serving victims of negligent medical care, we believe that the quality of health care is improved. Our attorneys are experienced in many areas of medical malpractice, including hospital negligence, failure or delay in diagnosis, childbirth injuries, medical errors, surgical errors, emergency room errors, psychiatric malpractice, pulmonary embolism, and nursing negligence.

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December 12, 2008 -- The 6th District Court of Appeals of Ohio recently reversed a medical malpractice jury verdict for the defendant finding that the trial court abused its discretion and caused a prejudicial error when it refused to excuse a prospective juror who the plaintiff argued could not be fair and impartial because of her relationship with the defendant Hospital, the defendant doctor, and a physician-witness who had been dismissed as a defendant in the case before trial.

In this case, the allegation was that the hospital personnel failed to use external pneumatic cuffs during surgery and postoperatively on a patient who underwent extensive abdominal surgery to correct a hernia. The patient suffered a postoperative pulmonary embolism and survived with brain damage and blindness. During voir dire, a prospective juror admitted that she worked at the hospital for more than 30 years as a CRNA in the operating rooms and was employed by the anesthesia group that had been named, but dismissed from the lawsuit and that she knew and worked with the defendant surgeon on numerous occasions.

This juror admitted that she was in "a conflict of interest" and that she might be "intimidated" if her boss were called as a witness in the case. After denying the plaintiff's motion to excuse the juror, the court went on to ask questions of the juror to rehabilitate her, but the Court of Appeals found that there were "lingering doubts regarding whether (the juror) could be entirely unbiased.

The court cited with authority the case of McGarry v. Horlacher, 149 OApp 3rd 22, for the proposition that the erroneous denial of a challenge for cause may be prejudicial because it forces a party to use a peremptory challenge on a juror who should have been excused for cause, giving that party fewer peremptories than the law provides. In this case, the prospective juror was dismissed on a peremptory challenge and the plaintiff used up all 3 peremptory challenges. Tisdale v. Toledo Surgical Specialists, and Toledo Hospital, Case no. L-07-1300. (Decided December 12, 2008).

Cleveland Attorney Pete Weinberger of Spangenberg, Shibley & Liber LLP tried the underlying medical malpractice case to verdict and pursued the appeal.


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