Medical Malpractice

Estate of James Earl McIntosh v. Bay Medical Center, et. al.

Pre-Suit

Mr. Higby and Mr. Barr represented James Earl McIntosh's estate in this medical malpractice case against Bay Medical Center and several physicians. Mr. McIntosh went to the Emergency Department with a chief complaint of chest pain that radiated to his neck and back. A chest X-ray and EKG were performed. No other imaging was performed to evaluate Mr. McIntosh's chief complaint of chest pain. He was diagnosed with flank pain and bradycardia and discharged. Over the next 24 hours, Mr. McIntosh continued to suffer the same symptoms which appeared to worsen. Mr. McIntosh returned to the Emergency Department a day later. His chief complaint on this visit was abdominal pain that radiated to his left chest. CT scans of the abdomen and pelvis were performed. The CT scans were reviewed by a PA and two Radiologists who indicated that Mr. McIntosh had "a small hiatal hernia", "a 3 mm non-obstructing left renal stone" and a "normal aorta". Mr. McIntosh was subsequently discharged with a diagnosis of flank pain, kidney stone, and renal colic. At this time, Mr. McIntosh was suffering from the signs and symptoms of an aortic dissection. At all times, Mr. McIntosh's aortic dissection was obvious and apparent in the CT images that were reviewed by the Defendants. Hours after being discharged from the Emergency Department, Mr. McIntosh collapsed at his home in Panama City Beach, Florida. Mr. McIntosh was brought back to the Emergency Department via ambulance as a code and was unresponsive. Time of death was called shortly after Mr. McIntosh's arrival. Mr. Higby and Mr. Barr obtained expert opinions from a nationally acclaimed expert from Harvard University School of Medicine. The expert opined that had Mr. McIntosh received the proper treatment and care on his first and second visits to the Emergency Department, it was more likely than not that he would have survived. The case settled for a confidential amount shortly after a pre-suit mediation.


Estate of Thomas Gerald Nichols v. Bay Medical Center, et. al.

Pre-Suit

Mr. Higby and Mr. Barr represented James Earl McIntosh's estate in this medical malpractice case against Bay Medical Center and several physicians. Thomas Nichols was transported to the Emergency Department via EMS. During transport to the ER, Mr. Nichols had an EKG performed that showed evidence of cardiac ischemia. Mr. Nichols presented to the Emergency Department with a chief complaint of abdominal pain that radiated to his back. Mr. Nichols described the level of pain as 10 out of 10. Mr. Nichols was admitted to the hospital and was subsequently ordered to be under continuous nursing care. Telemetry monitoring was ordered; however, records indicate that Mr. Nichols was not hooked up to telemetry monitors several hours after his arrival. The telemetry records show that Mr. Nichols was undergoing ventricular tachyarrhythmia for 10 minutes before he was provided any treatment or care. Mr. Nichols suffered anoxic brain injury, likely from cardiac arrest. Mr. Nichols died from his injuries. Mr. Higby and Mr. Barr obtained expert opinions from nationally acclaimed experts from Harvard University School of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine and Dartmouth. The experts opined that had the hospital staff properly monitored Mr. Nichols' telemetry monitors and provided immediate attention, treatment, and care when the monitors depicted abnormal heart rhythms, it was more likely than not that Mr. Nichols would have survived. The case settled for a confidential amount pre-suit.


Michael & Connie Ates v. Gulf Coast Medical Center, et. al.

Bay County Case #2010-1259-CA

Mr. Higby and Tallahassee attorney Sidney Matthew represented Mr. Ates in this medical malpractice case against HCA Gulf Coast Medical Center. Mr. Ates went to the emergency room at the local hospital on consecutive days complaining of nausea, dizziness, slurred speech, and facial droop. He was diagnosed on the first visit with food poisoning. He was diagnosed on the second visit with vertigo. Mr. Ates went home and his symptoms got no better over the weekend. He went to his General Practitioner on the following Monday, who immediately recognized Mr. Ates was having symptoms of an ischemic stroke. He ordered an MRI that confirmed the acute infarcts. Mr. Higby and Mr. Matthew obtained expert testimony from world renowned Emergency Medicine Expert from Harvard University. The expert opined that Mr. Ates' condition should have been diagnosed, and that the clot busting medication TPA would have effectively treated Mr. Ates' stroke. The case settled for a confidential amount after several years of litigation, during which the hospital never offered any money pre-suit or before mediation.


Angela Trousdale, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Ronald Trousdale v. Bay Medical Center, et. al.

Bay County Case #: 2017-CA-00898

Mr. Higby and Mr. Barr represented Ronald Trousdale's estate in this medical malpractice case against Bay Medical Center and several physicians. Mr. Trousdale presented to the Bay Medical Center Emergency Department on February 2, 2016 complaining of intermittent burning substernal chest pain for several days, usually after eating. On the morning of February 2, 2016, he had three episodes of substernal chest pain that were associated with diaphoresis, nausea, and lightheadedness. After the third episode he made the decision to report to the Bay Medical Center Emergency Department. Mr. Trousdale was admitted to telemetry for acute coronary syndrome rule out. He was kept overnight on the 2nd for cardiac testing which was conducted on February 3rd. On the 3rd, he underwent a Lexiscan perfusion stress test that was interpreted as abnormal and having a fixed apical defect without ischemia. However, Mr. Higby and Mr. Barr retained experts who discovered that ischemia was in fact present on the stress test performed on Mr. Trousdale. During litigation, the Defendants admitted this fact contrary to the prior report. In addition to the Lexiscan perfusion stress test, Ron Trousdale underwent a transthoracic echocardiogram. His testing was interpreted as no evidence of active coronary artery disease, and he was discharged on February 3, 2016 on the same medical regimen with the addition of baby aspirin. No recommendations were made regarding his recurrent chest pain or the need for urgently returning to the hospital if that were to occur. Additionally, no cardiology referral was made. On February 5, 2016, EMS was called to the Trousdale residence because Mr. Trousdale was having an episode of dizziness, nausea and chest discomfort (the same symptoms he experienced at the Bay Medical Center Emergency Department just 2 days prior). He arrived at the Bay Medical Center Emergency Department pulseless after approximately 30 minutes of attempted resuscitation. Continued attempts at CPR were unsuccessful and Mr. Trousdale was declared deceased around midnight on February 5, 2016. Mr. Higby and Mr. Barr obtained expert opinions from nationally acclaimed experts. The experts opined that had Mr. Trousdale received the proper treatment and care on his initial visit to the hospital, it was more likely than not that he would have survived. The case settled for a confidential amount shortly after the Defendants' depositions.