The Indiana Jury Verdict Reporte

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					                 The Indiana Jury Verdict Reporter
                             The Most Current and Complete Summary of Indiana Jury Verdicts

May, 2006                                         Statewide Jury Verdict Coverage                                     7 IJVR 5

                                       Unbiased and Independently Researched Jury Verdict Results

In This Issue
Marion County
Auto Negligence - $25,000               p. 2              ***The Book is Back - The Sixth Edition Has Arrived***
Auto Negligence - $1,450
Auto Negligence - Defense verdict
                                        p. 3
                                        p. 4                   Order the IJVR 2005 Year in Review
Medical Negligence - $50,000            p. 7
Auto Negligence - Defense verdict       p. 13
Lake County
                                                           Another year has passed and around here, that means it’s time to
Medical Negligence - $1,300,000         p. 1          ship out the 2005 Year in Review Volume. The 2005 edition, the sixth
School Negligence - $95,000             p. 3            in the series, tops out at more than 381 pages. Besides all the jury
Employment Contract - $82,640           p. 4          verdicts from last year, it also provides six years of data on car wrecks,
Auto Negligence - $37,000               p. 6
Breach of Contract - Defense verdict    p. 8           medical cases, slip and falls and on and on. Need data on consortium
Auto Negligence - $16,565               p. 10            awards? It’s in the Book. Products Liability? Death Verdicts?
Auto Negligence - $4,500                p. 12                  If it’s important to Indiana litigators, it’s in the Book.
Auto Negligence - Defense verdict       p. 14
Montgomery County
                                                             The Injury Report also returns to this volume in 2005.
Medical Negligence - $775,000           p. 5
Porter County                                                           Don’t guess the value of a case
Premises Liability - Defense verdict    p. 6
Auto Negligence - $55,323               p. 8                       Read the Book and know what it’s worth
St. Joseph County
Auto Negligence - $56,000               p. 6                     See online at for more details
Federal Court - Hammond
Medical Negligence - Defense verdict p. 7                           Order the IJVR 2005 Year in Review
Starke County                                                          Just $180.00 including shipping.
Auto Negligence - $55,000               p. 9
Federal Court - Indianapolis
Premises Liability - $60,000            p. 9
Civil Rights - Defense verdict          p. 12
Elkhart County                                   Medical Negligence - A woman              Verdict: $1,300,000 for plaintiff against
Medical Negligence - Defense verdict p. 10                                                 Almase, Santos, and Legaspi; defense
Auto Negligence - $1,050             p. 12       died after undergoing a laparoscopic
                                                 gallbladder removal procedure; the        verdict for Kheirbek, Kudaimi, and
Clark County                                                                               Javate
Auto Negligence - $3,333                p. 11    woman’s estate blamed her death on
                                                 multiple errors by her health care        County: Lake, Superior
Wayne County                                                                               Court: J. Dywan, 3-14-06
Auto Negligence - $3,099                p. 11    providers
                                                 Estate of Rodriguez v. Almase Surgical      On 3-8-00, Micaela Rodriguez, age
Carroll County
Auto Negligence - $431                  p. 13    Corporation, et al., 45D11-0405-CT-96     66, was admitted to St. Catherine’s
                                                 Plaintiff: Daniel B. Vinovich and         Hospital in East Chicago with acute
                                                 Benjamin D. Fryman, Hilbrich              dehydration, recurrent vomiting, and
                                                 Cunningham Schwerd Dobosz &               abdominal pain. She was diagnosed
Civil Jury Verdicts                              Vinovich, Highland                        with an inflammation of the gallbladder,
   Timely coverage of civil jury                 Defense: Robert J. Dignam and James       gallstones, chronic renal failure, and
verdicts in Indiana including court,             L. Hough, Spangler Jennings &             peripheral vascular blockage.
division, presiding judge, parties, cause        Dougherty, Merrillville, for Almase and     The next day, on 3-9-00, Rodriguez
number, attorneys and results.                   Legaspi; David C. Jensen and Michael      underwent a laparoscopic gallbladder
                                                 P. Mulchay, Eichhorn & Eichhorn,          removal. The procedure was performed
                                                 Hammond, for Santos, Kheirbek,            by Dr. Rodolfo Almase of the Almase
                                                 Kudaimi, and Javate
May 2006                                                  7 IJVR 5                                                                 2

Surgical Corporation and Dr. Rafaelito      and Legaspi did not breach the standard    and Santos. Against these defendants,
Legaspi. Although the procedure             of care. Aaland and Heiser pronounced      the estate was awarded damages of
seemed to have been a success,              themselves unqualified to render an        $1,300,000. If the court entered a
Rodriguez continued to complain of          opinion regarding the remaining            judgment, it was not in the record at the
abdominal pain.                             defendants.                                time the IJVR reviewed it.
   On 3-15-00, Rodriguez underwent an          Rodriguez’s estate filed suit against
endoscopic examination performed by         St. Catherine’s Hospital, Almase           Auto Negligence - Defendant
Dr. M. Mazen Kudaimi. That                  Surgical Corporation, and Drs. Almase,     admitted fault for a rear-end crash,
procedure revealed a bile leak in           Santos, Legaspi, Kheirbek, Kudaimi,        and plaintiff was awarded slightly less
Rodriguez’s right hepatic duct. The         and Javate. However, the court later       than twice his incurred medical
procedure also included the insertion of    granted St. Catherine’s a summary          expenses
a biliary stent. Plaintiff would later      judgment and dismissed the hospital        Miller v. Eller, 49D12-0303-CT-521
claim the insertion of the stent was        from the case.                             Plaintiff: Betsy K. Greene, Greene &
performed negligently.                         The litigation then proceeded against   Schultz, Bloomington
   Rodriguez’s condition continued to       the remaining defendants with the          Defense: Jeffrey V. Crabill, State Farm
deteriorate. She was finally transferred    estate citing multiple errors. The         Litigation Counsel, Indianapolis
to Rush-Presbyterian St. Luke’s             estate’s retained expert, Dr. Samuel       Verdict: $25,000 for plaintiff
Hospital in Chicago in the evening of 3-    Feinberg, Surgery, Champaign, IL,          County: Marion, Superior
21-00. She died the following morning       thought that if Dr. Almase had done a      Court:      J. Moberly, 4-5-06
on 3-22-00 of peritonitis due to the bile   cholangiogram (a radiological                 In the late evening of 3-23-01, Kerry
duct leak. According to plaintiff, Drs.     procedure designed to examine the          Miller, then age 41 and a realtor, was
Almase and Legaspi severed                  gallbladder) at the time of the initial    riding as a passenger in a 1999 Honda
Rodriguez’s right hepatic duct during       surgery, Rodriguez’s injury would          Accord being driven by Sharon Cosby.
the initial gallbladder removal             never have happened.                       The two were traveling south on North
procedure.                                     In addition, the estate criticized      Pennsylvania Street in Indianapolis
   Rodriguez’s estate submitted the         Almase for not converting to an open       when they stopped in traffic. An instant
matter to a medical review panel and        procedure and for failing to request       later, they were rear-ended by a 1996
claimed her medical team’s care either      appropriate assistance from other          Chevy Blazer being driven by Jodi Eller.
led to her death or reduced her chances     doctors. Also, the estate claimed the         Miller did not seek medical treatment
of survival. In addition to Drs. Almase,    antibiotics prescribed for Rodriguez       until approximately three weeks after the
Legaspi, and Kudaimi, the estate also       were inappropriate and not sufficiently    crash. He then presented to Ortho Indy
criticized the treatment Rodriguez          monitored.                                 with complaints of pain in his shoulder.
received from several of her other            Defendants denied having breached        Miller was diagnosed with right rotator
health care providers.                      the standard of care. They also pointed    cuff tendonitis and impingement that he
  They included Rodriguez’s primary         out that Rodriguez suffered from a         attributed to the accident.
care physician, Dr. Napoleon Santos,        number of pre-existing conditions.            Approximately eight months after the
and her nephrologist, Dr. Ali Kheirbek.     Among them were renal failure,             accident, Miller underwent a corrective
The estate also named Dr. Rosita            diabetes, heart disease, hypertension,     surgery. His medical expenses came to
Javate, the doctor who temporarily took     gallbladder disease, cirrhosis of the      $13,937. However, $5,373 of those
over as Rodriguez’s primary care            liver, and hepatitis C.                    expenses were subsequently written off
physician while Dr. Santos was on              The identified defense experts          by her medical providers. Miller
vacation.                                   included Dr. James Millis, Surgery,        subsequently made a complete recovery.
   The panel members were Dr. Jeann         Chicago, IL; Dr. Lee McHenry, Jr.,            In this lawsuit, Miller blamed Eller
Rowe, Internal Medicine, Fort Wayne;        Gastroenterology, Indianapolis; Dr.        for crashing into him. In addition to his
Dr. Mary Aaland, General Surgery, Fort      Jeffrey Justice, Surgery, Fort Wayne;      immediate injuries, Miller claims the
Wayne; and Dr. Samuel Heiser,               and Dr. John Fitzgerald, Internal          incident and subsequent surgery have
General Surgery, Noblesville. Dr.           Medicine, Indianapolis. Defendants         left him with permanent scarring.
Rowe expressed the opinion that the         also called Dr. Samuel Heiser, a              Eller initially defended the case,
only defendants who breached the            member of the medical review panel, to     denied Miller suffered any injuries at all,
standard of care were Drs. Javate,          testify on their behalf.                   and blamed the collision on non-party
Kheirbek, and Legaspi. However, she            The case was tried for nine days in     Crosby. As the litigation progressed,
went on to say the breach only              Crown Point. The jury returned a           however, Eller’s defenses began to
minimally reduced Rodriguez’s chances       complex verdict in which Drs.              dwindle.
of survival.                                Kheirbek, Kudaimi, and Javate were            By the time the trial date drew near,
   Drs. Aaland and Heiser both thought      exonerated. However, the jury found        Eller admitted negligence and had
St. Catherine’s Hospital, Almase            for the estate against Almase Surgical     dropped the non-party defense. Instead,
Surgical Corporation, and Drs. Almase       Corporation, and Drs. Almase, Legaspi,     the case went to trial with Eller