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WRONGFUL DEATH the estate of a man, who died during a liposuction procedure, has won $40.36 million in a suit against the doctors who did the procedure and the medical group that facilitated it. Joel Cunningham, 33, died due to excessive administration of lidocaine. His aunt, Margaret Brown, sued LaFontaine-Rish Medical Associates; its owners, Arthur Kissel, Sonia LaFontaine and Benito Rish; and doctors Andrew Pastwesky, Victor Ron and Ana Maria Santi. Pastwesky was dismissed after it was revealed that he did not perform the surgery. Rish was also dismissed. The jury found Ron and Santi liable for Cunningham’s death. Finding the facility vicariously liable, it assessed Kissel and LaFontaine $40 million in punitive damages. Brown v. LaFontaine, No. 14996/98 (Bronx Co., N.Y., Sup. Ct.) PLAINTIFFS’ ATTORNEY: David P. Kownacki, David P. Kownacki, New York DEFENSE ATTORNEYS: Andrew Lavoott Bluestone, New York; Chris Pappas, Chris Pappas & Associates, New York; Raymond D. Radow, New York; Philip J. Smith, Morris, Duffy, Alonso & Faley, New York.

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