William Crutchlow’s Notable Verdicts & Settlements
$18,500,000 Jury Verdict for Chemotherapy Caused Paraplegia
Anton Weck was permanently paralyzed from the waist down as a consequence of a mistake in the preparation of a drug administered on May 15, 2001 at Saint Peter’s University Hospital. He is wheel chaired bound, incontinent, sexually impotent and dependent on others. Anton is 25 years old and will remain in this condition for the rest of his life.
May 15, 2001 was meant to be one of the happiest in Anton’s life. He went to Saint Peter’s University Hospital on this date for his final dose of Chemotherapy utilized to conquer Leukemia. He was to receive a standard dose of methotrexate injected intrathecally (into the spinal canal). Among other chemotherapeutic agents administered through other roots. He had undergone this exact procedure over 25 times in the past without any adverse effect or complication. As he walked into the hospital, he was healthy and neurologically sound.
Anton’s medications were prepared at Saint Peter’s on May 15, 2001 by a probationary pharmacist, defendant Jhun. Ms. Jhun had essentially no experience in preparing chemotherapeutic agents and was one of if not the most junior pharmacist on staff. She was on 3 months’ probation as a consequence of inadequacies identified during her training which had ended just a few weeks earlier. By her admission, defendant Jhun committed pharmacy malpractice.
Defendant Jhun collected all the chemotherapeutic agents that she would be preparing for each of the patient receiving chemotherapy at Saint Peter’s on May 15, 2001 in a single bin. She carried the bin into the mixing room where she proceeded to mix chemotherapy for each patient consecutively. She described in her deposition that she mixed various chemotherapies (Vincristine and Methotrexate) that Anton Weck would be receiving “at the same time”. It is undisputed that this conduct fall below accepted practices and that it sets the stage for medication errors such as cause contamination and overdose. Jhun DiMatteo, the Director of Pharmacy in May of 2001 at Saint Peter’s, has clearly testified that this conduct was against both good pharmacy practice and the policies and procedures of the pharmacy at Saint Peter’s. Plaintiff’s expert, Mark Holdsworth, Ph.D., a professor of pharmacy in pediatrics at the University of New Mexico will testify that this conduct falls below any threshold of acceptable pharmacy practice. Indeed, no expert in the field of pharmacy practice testified on behalf of Ms. Jhun.
Incredibly, much of the critical documentation which would confirm exactly what defendant Jhun did the pharmacy on May 15, 2001 is missing. It had been either intentionally or negligently misplaced or destroyed by those acting on behalf of Saint Peter’s University Hospital. These documents include a detailed flow sheet which will memorialize exactly the steps taken by defendant Jhun, the type and volume of medications mixed and the cross-checking procedures she followed; a pharmacy log that would memorialize similar information; and the actual order pursuant to which this pharmacist prepared the medications. Further, a twenty-page evaluation form filled out over the course of her training at the Saint Peter’s pharmacy is missing. The testimony of the pharmacy supervisor has confirmed that this document would contain a detailed rendition of the actual training encountered by Ms. Jhun her performance during this training, the inadequacies that she manifested and the specific reasons why she was placed on the maximum probationary period after completing her training in late April 2001.
On August 1st, (2 weeks after that treatment) Anton was readmitted to St. Peters. He was paralyzed. Evidence which came out for the first time at trial revealed that, on June 7, the head of the pharmacy met with Ms. Jhun and discussed the Anton Weck case. Thereafter, she was disciplined and placed on an additional 3 months’ probation. Neither she nor the hospital ever admitted the reason for the discipline and probation. But the jury understood the significance in light of the obvious timing. The key documents went missing between June 1, 2001 and August 15, 2001, when the hospital served with a Notice of Claim. Thereafter, the documents could not be found. Thus it established that the pharmacy department was aware of the possible involvement of the intrathecal medication in causing Anton’s injuries on or before June 1, 2001.
Professor Holdsworth, Pharm. D. testified that defendant Jhun deviated from accepted pharmacy practices. This is undisputed. He testified that the way that defendant Jhun prepared the chemotherapy created the significant risk of cross contamination, which, with overwhelming probability, is what occurred in this case. He testified that the type and progression of neurological injury sustained by Anton is what one would expect with cross contamination of the intrathecal Methotrexate with Vincristine. He testified that no other, non-negligent, course of events would lead to this situation developing. Accordingly, the Court charged res ipsa loquitor.
On March 22, 2006, the jury returned its verdict in the amount of approximately $18,500,000.00. This case was tried by Attorney William Crutchlow.
$9,600,000 Settlement on Obstetrical Malpractice Concerning a Monochorionic Pregnancy
Attorneys William Crutchlow and Barry Eichen obtained a $9,600,000 settlement on Obstetrical Malpractice concerning a monochorionic pregnancy in which the demise of twin B and a delay in the delivery of twin A resulted in severe brain damage to the surviving twin.
$5,400,000 Jury Verdict for Medical Malpractice
HOME NEWS TRIBUNE – Friday, November 4, 2005
MIDDLESEX COUNTY: A North Brunswick man who suffered a massive stroke in 1999 has been awarded more than $5 million by a Superior Court jury.
After a seven-day trial in courtroom of Judge Mathias Rodriguez and two-and a-half hours of deliberations on Wednesday, the jury found that 49-year-old Mark Hoffman received improper medical treatment after he passed out at work in October of 1998.
Hoffman through his attorney William Crutchlow of the Edison law firm Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP, filed suit against his cardiologist Alexander Karpenos of Edison in January 2001. Hoffman suffered the Stroke Jan. 29, 1999.
Crutchlow said the award, including interest, totaled $5.4 million. The award included $416,000 for lost wages and the remainder was for pain and suffering.
Crutchlow said after Hoffman passed out at Frigidaire in Edison, where he worked for 15 years, he was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, rapid heartbeat, congenital heart disease and an enlarged heart.
Crutchlow presented the testimony of Joseph Grossman, a New York City cardiologist, and John Greenberg, a Somerville neurologist, and argued that if Hoffman were treated properly, the stroke would not have occurred.
$5,200,000 Jury Verdict for Injuries Suffered After Experimental Prostate Surgery
MONMOUTH COUNTY: Plaintiff counsel, William O. Crutchlow, of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP. On October 5, 2007, a Monmouth County jury returned a verdict of $5,250,000 in favor of a man who had been misled into undergoing an experimental procedure aimed at shrinking his prostate. On February 29, 2000 62-year-old AR underwent the procedure known as alcohol ablation at the hands of defendant Roseland urologist Joseph DiTrolio, M.D. AR was not advised of the true risks of the procedure prior to the operation and, instead, was misled through written information presented by the defendant which described the operation as easy, risk free and pain free. The consent form detailing the true risks, including that the procedure was experimental, that it was riskier than current approved therapies and that it carried unknown risks, was not signed until several days after the procedure was completed. AR went on to require corrective surgery and was left with permanent, intermittent urinary incontinence.
$4,400,000 Settlement for Failure to Diagnose Cancer
Attorney, William Crutchlow, secured a settlement with defendant doctor for delay in diagnosing nasopharyngeal cancer. (At the request of the parties involved and in the best interest of our client, the names, dates and facts surrounding this settlement are confidential).
$4,250,000 Recovery for Child who Suffered Brain Damage Following Surgery
William Crutchlow of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP with offices in Edison, Toms River and Red Bank, New Jersey recently settled a case for $4,250,000 arising from brain damage sustained by a two-year-old boy following upper airway surgery. The child developed Post Obstructive Pulmonary Edema which caused his lungs to fill with fluid. Management of this condition requires intubation. The physicians managing the child’s care delayed in acting to intubate which led to the severe worsening of the child’s condition and then to cardiac and respiratory arrest. The boy was ultimately resuscitated, but sustained significant brain damage affecting his vision and cognitive functioning.
$4,000,000 Jury Verdict for Stroke Due to Delay in Diagnosis of Aneurysm
Jury Gives $4,000,000 to Victim of Stroke Caused by Headache Misdiagnosis
William O. Crutchlow of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP with offices in Edison, Toms River and Red Bank, New Jersey won a $4,000,000 jury verdict in favor of a woman who sustained a large stroke due to a delay in diagnosis of an aneurysm.
Foster v. Falk: A Middlesex County jury awarded a $4 million on Feb. 4 to a woman found to have suffered a brain-damaging stroke because doctors failed to order tests for her headaches.
Over seven days in June 1996, Carlene Foster, now 50, complained of headaches and vomiting to three doctors at HIP of New Jersey in Edison and to an emergency room doctor at J.F.K. Medical Center, and on June 12, she suffered a stroke. The jury found each doctor 25 percent liable, says her lawyer, William Crutchlow of Edison’s Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP.
Superior Court Judge Yolanda Ciccone presided at trial. Foster’s expert testified that a CAT scan, which would have shown pre-aneurysm bleeding, should have been attributed to migraine headaches and that the doctors did not deviate from standards of care by not ordering a CAT scan, Foster’s lawyers say.
The doctors and their lawyers are David Falk, represented by John Orlovsky of Orlovsky, Moody, Schaaff & Gabrysiak in West Long Branch; Nancy Somer, represented by Thomas Pyle of Roseland ‘s Post, Polak, Goodsell, MacNeill & Strauchler; Jeffrey Rosen, represented by Donald Grasso of Orlovsky, Grasso, Bolger, Mensching, Halpin & Daley in Toms River; and Angelo Racaniello, represented by Peter Gordon of Krompier & Gordon in Parsippany.
Pyle confirms the size of the verdict but declines to comment on whether there will be an appeal.
$3,350,000 Recovery for Brain Damage to Mother During Birth
William O. Crutchlow, Esq. of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP with offices in Edison, Toms River and Red Bank, New Jersey recently accomplished a $3,350,000 settlement for a woman who suffered brain damage due to massive blood loss after giving birth. Our client was in her mid-thirties when she underwent an elective caesarean section to deliver a healthy baby boy. The procedure was done to avoid potential complications from a previously diagnosed placental abnormality. Shortly after giving birth, the patient started to bleed heavily. The operating Obstetrician and the Anesthesiologist on the case were slow to appreciate the significance of the bleeding and failed to act promptly to call for help or to replace lost blood products and fluids. Our client lost a massive amount of blood before going into cardiac arrest and losing blood flow to her brain for several minutes. She was resuscitated, but had sustained significant brain damage leaving her permanently physically and cognitively impaired. A settlement was reached with the Obstetrician, the Anesthesiologist and the hospital where the delivery occurred.
$2,500,000 Award for Illegal Shooting by Newark Police Officer
NEWARK, NJ: A Newark man who suffered severe injuries after he was wrongfully shot in the stomach with a hollow point bullet by a Newark Police Officer was awarded a total of $2,589,327.38 in damages by a Federal Court in Newark.
Paul Godley, a lifelong Newark resident, was shot by the Newark Police Officer using his service revolver and Department issued hollow point bullet. The officer had claimed that he believed Mr. Godley was armed.
This case was tried by William Crutchlow of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow in Edison. They claimed that the officer wrongfully shot Godley and that he was surrendering to the officer. Also that the damage caused by the bullet fragments caused Mr. Godley to suffer massive internal injuries and bleeding.
The emergency room doctor who performed lifesaving surgery to Mr. Godley testified that, by the time surgery could finally be performed, Godley had lost over 40% of his blood and had a blood pressure level that dropped to near terminal levels. Over 10 surgeries and several weeks of coma-like sedation were necessary to keep Godley alive. A neurologist, Dr. John Greenberg, testified that Godley suffered permanent damage to his nervous system and brain as a result of the extreme blood loss.
After an agreement was reached regarding during trial as to liability, the damages portion of the trial was tried for one week to Federal Court Judge Stanley Chesler, who announced the verdict.
$1,800,000 Settlement in Shoulder Dystocia / Erb’s Palsy Case
William O. Crutchlow of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP with offices in Edison, Toms River and Red Bank, New Jersey secured a $1,800,000 for a young girl who suffered nerve damage during her delivery due to the negligence of the obstetrician in charge of the birth. The evidence showed that the doctor did not anticipate or recognize a complication of the birthing process where the baby’s shoulder gets stuck on the mother’s pelvis (Shoulder Dystocia). Too much pressure and pulling was used during the birth causing permanent damage to the nerves serving one of the child’s arms (Erb’s Palsy). Our client was left with loss of use of the arm and hand and shortening of the arm.
$1,500,000 Settlement for a Delay in Diagnosing Cervical Cancer
William O. Crutchlow of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP with offices in Edison, Toms River and Red Bank, New Jersey accomplished a $1,510,000 settlement on behalf of the Estate of a 25-year-old woman who died from metastatic cervical cancer. William O. Crutchlow of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP was able to establish through experts in cytopathology that Pap smear specimens taken over the years before the client’s diagnosis were misread as being normal. Each showed evidence of cervical cancer. Our oncology experts established that timely diagnosis would have led to cure.
$1,400,000 Recovery for Foot/Ankle Burns Suffered in a Pedicure Spa Chair Leading to Leg Amputation
William O. Crutchlow, Esq. of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP with offices on Edison, Toms River and Red Bank, New Jersey recently settled a negligence and product liability case arising from thermal burns to our client’s feet and ankles that occurred due to the use of excessively hot water in a pedicure spa chair.
Our client is a diabetic who had lost feeling in his lower legs and feet due to diabetic nerve injuries. He regularly got pedicures for health maintenance reasons. On the date at issue, he went to his usual spa and had a pedicure performed. His feet were soaked in hot water as part of the procedure. The water was extremely hot and caused severe burns to our client’s feet and ankles. He spent several weeks hospitalized in a burn unit and endured numerous surgical procedures in an effort to save his legs. Unfortunately, one leg ultimately required an amputation below the knee.
We argued that the spa’s workers were negligent in permitting overly hot water to collect in the pedicure chair basin and that the manufacturer of the chair was negligent in failing to design and install safeguards to keep excessively hot water from collecting in the basin. Settlement was reached with the spa and with the manufacturer.
$1,010,000 Jury Verdict for Bowel Injury During Gall Bladder Surgery
William Crutchlow, Esq. of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP, with offices in Edison, Toms River and Red Bank, New Jersey, recently secured a jury verdict for a man in his late fifties who suffered a bowel injury during a laparoscopic gall bladder removal surgery. The injury was not recognized at the time of surgery which permitted bacteria laden intestinal content to leak into the patient’s abdominal cavity. Massive infection followed causing the patient to undergo major, emergency surgery, to remain in the hospital for over a month, to be on a respirator for several weeks, to develop lung failure and ARDS, to suffer from critically low blood pressures and oxygen levels in his blood and, ultimately, to develop brain damage. Our client was left with permanent damage to the muscles in his abdominal wall, recurrent incisional abdominal hernias, short term memory deficits and cognitive deficits. He has been disabled and unable to work since his injuries occurred. This case was tried to a jury in Middlesex County in January and early February 2016. Stewart v Swaminathan, MID-L-8948-11.
$1,000,000 Settlement for Failure to Diagnose Stroke
William O. Crutchlow of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP with offices in Edison, Toms River and Red Bank recently accomplished a settlement for a 55 year old man who suffered a stroke due to a failure to diagnose. The case arose from the failure of a doctor at an emergency room to recognize the signs of the progressing stroke, failing to consult with a neurologist and failing to treat the patient with clot busting medication, TPA. The man went on to develop brain damage which impacted his cognitive functioning and the use of his right arm and leg. The case settled on the second day of trial in Hudson County, New Jersey.
$1,000,000 Settlement for Orthopedic Malpractice
Barry R. Eichen and William Crutchlow of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP obtained a one million dollar settlement for this client as a result of orthopedic medical malpractice. This case involved a lumbar fusion with one plate and six screws. The defendant orthopedic surgeon, while inserting screws into Plaintiff’s back, did not use fluoroscopy, an x-ray technique, and was therefore unable to properly locate the appropriate position of where to place the surgical screws. As a result, Defendant orthopedist struck one of Plaintiff’s exiting nerve roots and caused Plaintiff to have a partial foot drop. This case settled after deposition of Defense Expert in the amount of $1,000,000.
$875,000 Settlement for Loss of Airway/Vocal Cord Paralysis
William Crutchlow of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow with offices in Edison, Red Bank and Toms River, New Jersey settled a case arising from bilateral vocal cord paralysis that developed following an airway emergency encountered during cervical spine surgery. Our client was a man in his late 40’s who agreed to undergo surgery on his cervical spine to address disc herniations and related disease. Shortly after the start of the operation, the endotracheal tube used in the administration of anesthesia unexpectedly became dislodged. The anesthesiologist was unable to get the tube reinserted and, after numerous unsuccessful and traumatic attempts at reintubation, was forced to declare an airway emergency. A tracheostomy (breathing tube at the vase of the throat) was created to allow the patient to breath. Subsequent efforts to close and reverse the tracheostomy were unsuccessful as the patient was not able to breath sufficiently without the apparatus in place. It was determined that the vocal cords had been permanently injured and were paralyzed which obstructed the ability to breath. We asserted that the cause of these injuries was the negligent failure of the anesthesiologist to maintain the patient’s airway during surgery and the trauma of the many attempts at reinserting the endotracheal tube and the tracheostomy procedure. The tracheostomy is likely permanent. This case settled for $875,000 shortly before trial. Further details of this settlement are controlled by a Confidentiality Agreement.
$725,000 Settlement in FELA Case for Railroad Worker’s Pulmonary Disability
William Crutchlow, Esq. of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow with offices in Edison, Toms River and Red Bank, New Jersey secured a settlement in an FELA case for a railroad worker who was exposed to bird droppings and other materials when a ceiling tile collapsed above him at work. The injured worker was a machinist who was attending to his duties when a ceiling panel above him gave way dropping a mix of material that had collected on the ceiling tile on his head and face. The worker had a lifetime history of asthma and this disease was worsened as a result of the exposure to the material from the ceiling. The worker tried to return to work, but was forced to endure substantial exposure to diesel exhaust and other occupational respiratory hazards while not being afforded the benefit of respiratory protection or safety warnings. The result was additional respiratory compromise that further limited his ability to perform his job duties. This case was handled with co-counsel George Kachmar, Esq.
$600,000 Settlement for Architectural Malpractice
$600,000 – Architectural Malpractice – William Crutchlow, Esq. of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP with offices in Edison, Toms River and Red Bank, New Jersey accomplished a settlement for a multi-unit residential complex developer against its architect based on the failure of the architect to properly design the sound proofing component of interior walls between units. The improper design was revealed after investigation of numerous tenant complaints of noise from adjacent units and expert sound testing revealed the defective design. The damages were based on repair costs, lost rents for tenants that moved out, lost rental opportunity while repairs were ongoing and related concerns.