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MEDICAL MALPRACTICE Hospital missed tear in anal sphincter during delivery A woman at Georgetown University Hospital who was left with severe and permanent bowel problems after giving birth was awarded $50 million by a D.C. jury on Aug. 25. Ludmilla Clifton, 24, delivered her baby after an episiotomy and her records indicated the anal sphincter muscle was not damaged. Weeks later, Clifton indicated that she was having urgency when it was time to have a bowel movement. She had surgery to increase her time to get to the bathroom. During this surgery, it was discovered that Clifton had scar tissue on the external anal sphincter. Clifton claimed that the hospital was negligent in failing to detect and repair the tear at the time it occurred, leading to the scar tissue. Case/Court/Date: Clifton v. President and Board of Directors of Georgetown College, No. CA-01-6541 (D.C. Superior Court), Aug. 25, 2003 Plaintiff’s attorneys: Barry Nace, and Brian Kim, Paulson & Nace, Washington, D.C. Defense attorneys: Lynda Schuler and Zoe Poulson, Williams & Connolly, Washington, D.C. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY Legg Mason copied and circulated Lowry’s market trend newsletter A publishing company that claimed a financial services company copied its reports without permission was awarded $19.7 million by a federal jury on Oct. 3. Lowry’s Reports, a publisher of stock market statistics, alleged that, for more than a decade, Legg Mason Wood Walker and its holding company, Legg Mason Inc., Baltimore, made unauthorized copies of its reports and distributed them to its employees. It contended that an individual employee of Legg Mason purchased a single subscription for Lowry’s print and electronic publications and then made them available, via intranet, to 1,300 financial advisers. Lowry’s sued for copyright infringement, RICO violations, fraud and contract breach. The RICO and fraud claims were dismissed. Case/Court/Date: Lowry’s Reports Inc. v. Legg Mason Inc., No. 1:01-CV-03898-WDQ (U.S. District Court, District of Maryland), Oct. 3, 2003 Plaintiff’s attorneys: Thomas Kirby, Scott Bain, and Chin Yoo, Wiley Rein & Fielding, Washington, D.C. Defense attorneys: Terence Ross and Thomas Dupree Jr., Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Washington, D.C. MEDICAL MALPRACTICE Diabetes-related surgery was performed on wrong eye A patient who had ophthalmic surgery on the wrong eye was awarded $1 million by a Virginia jury on Sept. 24. April Bourne, 47, required the surgery for treatment of diabetes-related symptoms on her right eye, but ophthalmologist Michael Rivers, relying on information wrongly entered in Bourne’s chart, performed it on the left. As a result, she is now nearly blind in her right eye, and the vision in her left eye was irreparably harmed. Bourne sued the hospital where the surgery was performed, Rivers, and his practice. The hospital was dropped. The jury awarded $650,000 in compensatory damages against Rivers and his practice and $350,000 in punitives against Rivers, who changed the consent form in an attempt to cover up his mistake. Case/Court/Date: Bourne v. Rivers, No. 02-0386 (Alexandria City Circuit Court), Sept. 24, 2003 Plaintiff’s attorneys: Cary Greenberg, Richard Dzubin, and Edward Rosenthal, Rich Greenberg Rosenthal & Costle, Alexandria, Va. Defense attorneys: Alfred Belcuore, Montedonico, Belcuore & Tazzara, Washington, D.C.; Raymond Battocchi, Gabeler, Battocchi & Griggs, McLean, Va. MEDICAL MALPRACTICE Woman claimed hemorrhage could have been avoided A woman who sustained a cerebral hemorrhage settled her failure-to-diagnose claim against the United States for $900,000 on June 6. Sandy Stroud, 30, went to the Naval Regional Medical Center in Portsmouth, Va., with complaints of a severe, persistent headache. Two doctors considered the possibility of a hemorrhage, but didn’t conduct diagnostic imaging; they administered pain medication and discharged her. Stroud claimed she was suffering from an undiagnosed and untreated arterial venous malformation, which later caused a cerebral hemorrhage that left her with cognitive and sensorimotor deficits. She sued the United States, claiming an MRI and CT scan would have disclosed the AVM in time to save her. Case/Court/Date: Stroud v. United States, No. 2:02-CV-700 (U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Norfolk), June 6, 2003 Plaintiff’s attorney: P. Clark Kattenburg, Hall, Sickels, Rostant, Frei & Kattenburg, Reston, Va. Defense attorney: George Kelley, assistant U.S. attorney, Norfolk, Va. MOTOR VEHICLE Vehicle crossed yellow lines and caused head-on collision A man whose vehicle was struck by a car in a head-on collision reached a $400,000 settlement with the driver of the car. The plaintiff claimed that the driver’s negligent operation of a motor vehicle caused the accident. The defendant did not contest liability, but argued that the damages sought were excessive under the circumstances. Case/Court/Date: DeBoer v. Berger, No. 212634 (Fairfax County Circuit Court), May 16, 2003 Plaintiff’s attorney: Thomas Curcio, Dunn, Curcio & Keating, Alexandria, Va. Defense attorney: Steven Crum, Alexandria, Va. HEALTH LAW Health care provider allegedly overcharged state Medicaid program A company that allegedly overcharged the Maryland Medicaid program for years agreed to pay $1.3 million to the state on Oct. 14. The Office of the Maryland Attorney General claimed that Tender Loving Care Health Care Services Inc. (TLC), a provider of home nursing and other medical services headquartered in Lake Success, N.Y., allowed its franchises in Baltimore and Prince George’s counties to submit fraudulent reports to the Maryland Medicaid program. An investigation by the attorney general’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit revealed that for the fiscal years 1993 through 1997, the former manager of TLC’s Maryland franchises repeatedly submitted payroll reports to TLC’s headquarters that inflated the number of health care employees in its franchises. Case/Court/Date: State of Maryland v. Tender Loving Care Health Services Inc., Matter not filed. Oct. 14, 2003 Plaintiff’s attorney: Jason Weinstock, Office of the Maryland Attorney General, Baltimore, Md. Defense attorney: Frederick Robinson, Fulbright & Jaworski, Washington, D.C. PUBLIC UTILITIES Black person claimed taxi did not pick him up because of his race A Housing and Urban Development policy director who claimed that a taxi driver did not pick him up because he is black settled with the taxi’s owner and driver for an undisclosed amount. Bryan Greene attempted to hail a taxi in front of the Loews L’Enfant Plaza Hotel in Washington, D.C. Driving a Your Way taxi, Balvir Singh Johal pulled up to let out a fare, saw Greene, and then pulled away. Greene sued Johal and the D.C.-based Amristar Auto Services Co. for civil rights violations. The defendants settled for an undisclosed amount, plus Amristar agreed to run ads stating that it requires its drivers to pick up customers and transport them anywhere, regardless of their race, as well as to place stickers in their cabs for five years stating same. Case/Court/Date: Greene v. Amritsar Auto Services Co. LLC, No. 01-0630 (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, D.C.), Dec. 9, 2002 Plaintiff’s attorney: John Grossman, Hogan & Hartson, Washington, D.C. Defense attorney: Horace Bradshaw, Washington, D.C.; George Hughes, Washington, D.C. NEGLIGENCE Lawyer’s arm was injured while donating blood An attorney injured while giving blood is entitled to $800,000 in compensatory damages, a Virginia jury found. Robyn Fairshter, 32, alleged that while giving blood in Annandale, Va., at a location set up by Washington, D.C.-based American National Red Cross, a newly hired technician, who had been the subject of complaints, failed to follow procedures and injured her left arm and hand during her donation, causing her to develop reflex sympathetic dystrophy, a permanent pain syndrome. Fairshter sued the Red Cross for negligence and negligent hiring. The Red Cross admitted negligence, but denied that Fairshter suffered from RSD, claiming that she suffered ulnar nerve entrapment resulting from some other trauma. Case/Court/Date: Fairshter v. American National Red Cross, No. 03-246-A (U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria) Oct. 23, 2003 Plaintiff’s attorneys: Michael Barnsback, Hillary Collyer, and Bernard DiMuro, DiMuro, Ginsberg & Mook, Alexandria, Va. Defense attorney: Richard Jordan, Hamilton and Hamilton, Washington, D.C. Editor’s Note: These jury verdicts were collected and reported by VerdictSearch, an American Lawyer Media affiliate serving lawyers in the D.C. area and nationwide. More information about these cases, as well as full reports on other verdicts and settlements, can be found in the VerdictSearch National Reporter or at www.VerdictSearch.com. For subscription information or jury verdict research call 1-800-832-1900. To submit a case, call (212) 313-9057, fax (212) 313-9145, e-mail [email protected], or use the form at www.VerdictSearch.com/submit.

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