VERDICTS & SETTLEMENTS
www.dailyjoumal.com fRIDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2009
PERSONAL INJURY PlAINTIFFS' CONTENTIONS:
The plaintiffs contended thatDr.
Wrongful Death Pepitone, during the Dec. 29,2005
office visit, should havesuspected
VERDICf: Defense. unstable angina in a patient with
CASE/NUMBER: LaDonna many cardiac riskfactors who
Mowrey, Jeannine Giem, James complained ofchestpain upon
Mowrey v. Stanley K. Kawanishi, exertion andat rest,andhe
M.D., Ronald E.Pepitone, M.D. / should haverecognized a cardiac
01CC01872. emergency thatrequired immediate
COURT/DAlE: Orange Superior / hospitalization andmedical
July24, 200S. intervention.
JUDGE: Hon. Steven L Perk. The allegation against Dr. Kawanishi
wasthatthe voluminous amount of
ATTORNEYS: Plaintiff-Alton J. artifacts ontheJan.6,2006 exercise
Smith ill (Law Office ofAlton]. treadmill teststripsrendered the
Smith, Costa Mesa). testuseless, andDr. Kawanishi
Defendant - Yuk K Law (Law + should havetakenthedecedent to
Brandmeyer, UP, Pasadena). the cathlabforangiography. The
MEDICAL EXPERTS: Plaintiff - plaintiffs furthercontended that
Colin M.Bloor, M.D., cardiovascular Dr. Kawanishi didnotperform
pathology, San Diego; Bernard A the exercise treadmill testfora
Michlin, M.D., internal medicine, sufficient amount oftimeto makea .
San Diego; Fernando Zamudio,
M.D., cardiology, SanDiego.
DEFE~HANT'S CONtENtIONS: ..
Dr. Pepitone argued thathe
Defendant - Michael Chaikin, M.D., actedreasonably byreferring
cardiology, Pasadena; Michael C. the patient to Dr. Kawanishi fora
Fishbein, M.D., cardiovascular repeatexercise treadmill test,and
pathology, Los Angeles; William therewasnoindication-for himto
Klein, M.D., internal medicine, hospitalize Mowrey on Dec. 29,
Newport Beach. 2005 foremergency workup and
rscrsTheplaintiff's decedent, treatment.
Michael Mowrey, was a 59-year- Dr. Kawanishi demonstrated that
oldcustomer service manager he wasabletoreadthe.exercise
ofa trucking company. Dr. treadmill test stripsdespite the
Ronald E.Pepitone, M.D., was artifacts, andhe found noevidence
Michael Mowrey's primary care ofcardiac ischemia to indicate
physician fora number ofyears. moreinvasive workup, such as
Mowrey hadhypertension and angiography.
hypercholesteremia. In May2005, Further, with respecttocausation,
Dr. Pepitone sentMowrey to the defendant claimed thatthere
Dr. Stanley K Kawanishi, M.D., wasnoextensive narrowing of
a cardiologist, to stratify his thecoronary arteriesfound at
cardiac riskfactors. Dr. Kawanishi autopsy, andthe decedent diedof
performed andinterpreted an unpredictable andunpreventable
exercise treadmill testas normal cardiac arrhythmia.
Mowrey returned toDr. Pepitone
onDec. 29, 2005, with thecomplaint INJURIES: Death ofMichael
thathe washaving chestpain Mowrey. Plaintiffs' lossoflove,
upon exertion. Dr. Pepitone was companionship andguidance.
unclear as to thecause, butreferred DAMAGES: $370,000 (pastand
Mowrey toDr. Kawanishi for future financial support); $135,000
another exercise treadmill test to (loss ofhousehold services);
ruleoutcardiac ischemic problems. $250,000 (past andfuture non-
OnJan.6,2006, Dr. Kawanishi economic damages).
performed thetestandconcluded JURY TRIAL: Length, sevendays;
thattherewasnoevidence Poll, 9-3 (nonegligence as to Dr.
ofischemia. Mowrey died Pepitone), 1()'2 (nonegligence as to
unexpectedly onIan.Ll, 2006. Dr. Kawanishi); Deliberation, one
Plaintiff LaDonna Mowrey is 61 day.
yearsoldandthedecedent's wife; SETILEMENT DISCUSSIONS:
Jeannine Giem andJamesMowrey Theplaintiffs demanded $250,000
are thedecedent's adult children. eachfrom Dr. Pepitone andDr.
Thedefendants made nooffer.
RESULT: Defense verdict.