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 wheelchair 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 Recovery in 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.
$4,000,000 Recovery for Cerebral Palsy
William O. Crutchlow, Esq. of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP with offices in Edison, Toms River and Red Bank, New Jersey was co-lead counsel on a case arising from Cerebral Palsy suffered by a child during his birth. The case recently settled for $4,000,000. Our client is a boy who was neurologically and physically normal up through the time that his mother went into labor. Over the course of the next several hours, despite repeated evidence that the boy’s brain was being deprived of oxygen, his treating physician and nurses failed to recognize this and failed to proceed to an emergency delivery. We alleged that expedited delivery was required and that the failure to identify the signs of progressive fetal distress on the part of the doctor and nurses managing the delivery fell below acceptable standards of practice. Our client suffered severe and permanent brain damage as a direct result of these failures.
$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.
$2,250,000 Recovery for Nerve Injury/Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) Suffered During Blood Draw
William O. Crutchlow, Esq. of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP with offices in Edison and Toms River recently settled a case for $2,250,000 for a young woman who suffered a nerve injury during a blood draw from a vein on the inside of her elbow. It was alleged that the phlebotomist who attempted to draw the blood inserted the needle at too sharp an angle and pushed the needle too deep into the arm where it damaged a nerve. Our client felt immediate radiating pain in her arm and hand which persisted despite numerous orthopedic and pain management treatments, including the implantation of a permanent spinal cord neurostimulator. The condition has evolved to permanent Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) which causes pain, numbness, temperature and color changes and weakness in the involved arm and hand. Our client’s injury affected her non-dominant arm and hand, but is permanently disabling and has significantly restricted her previously active professional and recreational lifestyle.
$2,000,000 Settlement for Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
William O. Crutchlow, Esq. of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP with offices in Edison and Toms River, New Jersey has resolved a case for $2,000,000 on behalf of his clients, a woman in her fifties and her husband, arising from Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) that developed from a wound caused by an improper surgical dressing applied to her calf following ankle surgery. Our client underwent routine ankle surgery for a ligament injury performed by an Orthopedist following which the doctor’s Physician Assistant negligently crafted and applied a splint/bandage complex to her foot, ankle, and calf. The dressing caused excessive pressure on the back of her calf resulting in a substantial wound prior to it being removed several days following surgery. The wound required further surgery, maggot therapy and a skin graft to close. Unfortunately, as a consequence of the wound, our client developed a severe, disabling case of CRPS effecting the involved leg, ankle and foot. She has undergone lengthy pain management, nerve blocks, medication treatments, spinal cord stimulator therapy, physical therapy and holistic treatment modalities in her ongoing, but unsuccessful effort to improve her condition. Mr. Crutchlow’s client remains disabled with chronic pain and weakness, has lost her ability to enjoy many of her prior hobbies and pursuits and is unable to return to her job in the pharmaceutical industry. Mr. Crutchlow retained experts in Orthopedic Surgery, Physician Assistant practice, Pain Management/CRPS and Economics in the prosecution of this case on behalf of his clients.
$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.
$1,750,000 for Failure to Diagnose a Heart Attack Leading to a Stroke
William O. Crutchlow, Esq. of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP with offices in Edison and Toms River, New Jersey recently settled a case on behalf of the estate of a man who died following a stroke related to a failure to diagnose a heart attack. Our client was a single man in his late sixties when he presented to a hospital emergency room after falling and hitting his head. An EKG showed signs of a developing heart attack which went unrecognized by the emergency room doctors. The patient was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit for observation to ensure that his head injury did not progress. A second EKG was done in the ICU which showed more alarming signs of a progressing heart attack. The nurses and doctors in charge failed to recognize these signs and took no action to deal with the evolving cardiac emergency. Our client suffered a completed heart attack and was discharged the next day without any cardiac diagnosis or treatment. The damage to his heart led to the development of a clot in his heart that migrated to his brain where it obstructed blood flow and causing significant brain damage. The brain damage caused seizures and a progressive decline in cognitive and physical function. Our client was forced to live in a long term care facility for the last several months of his life before succumbing to his injuries. The case was prosecuted on behalf of his estate and his surviving siblings.
$1,575,000 Recovery for Trimalleolar Ankle Fracture From Fall on Snow and Ice
William O. Crutchlow, Esq. of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP with offices in Edison and Toms River recently settled a case for $1,575,000 on behalf of a woman in her forties who slipped and fell on snow and ice causing a severe, trimalleolar fracture of her ankle. The accident occurred on an exterior staircase at our client’s townhome complex following a substantial snow and ice storm. It was alleged that the defendant snow removal contractor and home owner’s association negligently failed to timely and safely remove the accumulated snow and ice permitting a dangerous condition to exist. Our client’s injury required major surgery with implanted hardware, screws and plates to correct. She then encountered persistent trouble with wound healing and infection leading to revision surgery to remove the hardware. She has been left with significant pain, loss of motion and weakness in the involved ankle joint. Our client was employed as a seafood manager at a supermarket at the time of the accident, but has been unable to return to work in this capacity given her injury related limitations.
$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.
$1,500,000 for Injuries Sustained in an Accident with a Dump Truck
William O. Crutchlow, Esq. of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP with offices in Edison and Toms River, New Jersey recently settled a case on behalf of a woman in her forties who sustained injuries when her minivan was struck by a loaded dump truck when it ran a red light. Our client sustained injuries to her head, neck, back, face and vestibular system. She also developed profound Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and an anxiety disorder which impacts her ability to function outside of her home. Our client had a long work history and was working two jobs at the time of the accident. She has been unable to return to work and remains permanently disabled. This case was settled through Mediation.
$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.
$1,300,000 Recovery for Negligence By Caregiver for Autistic Child
William O. Crutchlow, Esq. of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP with offices in Edison, Toms River and Red Bank, New Jersey was lead counsel for an autistic boy and his family in a case that settled for $1,300,000. Our primary client was a profoundly autistic boy who was assigned a caregiver to assist him with training in daily living skills. The caregiver took the boy from the family home to attempt to provide guidance in how to behave in the community. After the session, the boy was allowed to play at a playground at which point the caregiver lost track of him. Several minutes later, the child was found face down and essentially lifeless in a nearby body of water. He was resuscitated, but suffered brain damage due to lack of oxygen during the drowning event. The brain damage led to a seizure disorder, to physical and cognitive regression, to gastrointestinal maladies and to an increase in agitation and aggression. These consequences are permanent.
$1,250,000 Settlement for Delay in Diagnosis of Lung Cancer
William O. Crutchlow, Esq. of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP with offices in Edison, Toms River and Red Bank, New Jersey was co-lead counsel on a case arising from the delay in the diagnosis of lung cancer which resolved for $1,200,000. Our client was in her early 50s when an abnormality in her lung was identified on a CT scan. We alleged that the radiologist who interpreted the CT scan failed to accurately assess the ominous nature of the lesion and failed to properly direct the patient’s treating doctors to timely follow up with additional imaging studies. It was further alleged that the defendant internal medicine doctors failed to appreciate the possibility that the abnormality was cancer based on the information that they did get, and failed to secure necessary follow-up evaluations to protect against this possibility. Years later their patient was finally diagnosed with lung cancer. Unfortunately, as a result of the delay in diagnosis, the cancer had progressed from a curable stage to an advanced, incurable stage.
$1,200,000 for Railroad Worker Cancer Death (FELA)
William O. Crutchlow, Esq. of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP with offices in Edison and Toms River, New Jersey recently settled a case on behalf of the family of a deceased railroad worker who contracted esophageal cancer and colon cancer as a consequence of toxic and hazardous exposures encountered during a many decade carrier working for multiple railroads. This case was prosecuted pursuant to the Federal Employee’s Liability Act (FELA). We were able to establish that our client had been unreasonably and unsafely exposed to asbestos and diesel exhaust, among other toxins, during his employment. It was asserted that the railroads failed to properly assess the working conditions for their employees, failed to warn their workers of the hazards that were present and failed to take reasonable steps to protect their workers by way of protective equipment and remediation. Our client suffered from advanced, metastatic esophageal cancer and colon cancer at the time of his death. This case was resolved with each of the defendant railroads agreeing to contribute to the settlement.
$1,200,000 Settlement for Wrongful Death Due to Misdiagnosed Brain Aneurysm
William O. Crutchlow, Esq. of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP with offices in Edison and Toms River, New Jersey recently settled a case arising from the Wrongful Death of a 50-year-old man for $1,200,000. Our client went to the Emergency Room at a local hospital with complaints of headache and dizziness. A CT scan of his head was interpreted by the defendant neuroradiologist as being normal. Unfortunately, the radiologist missed an aneurysm on one of the major blood vessels in the brain. The next day the aneurysm burst causing blood to enter the brain leading to a coma followed by death. Our case was based on the lost opportunity for curative surgery had the aneurysm been diagnosed and treated at the time of the initial Emergency Room visit. Mr. Crutchlow was able to establish through his expert neurologist that prompt diagnosis and surgery would have carried a good chance of recovery without major neurological limitations. This case was filed on behalf of the estate of our deceased client which represented his three children ranging in age from 15 to 22 at the time of his death. Mr. Crutchlow engaged experts in Neuroradiology, Neurosurgery, Neurology and Economics in the prosecution of this case.
$1,200,000 Recovery for Delay in Diagnosis of Kidney Cancer
William O. Crutchlow, Esq. of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP with offices in Edison, Toms River and Red Bank, New Jersey recently successfully recovered a $1,200,000 settlement for the Estate of a woman who died due to a delay in diagnosis of kidney cancer. The woman was in her early 60s when a small nodule was accidentally found in her kidney during an ultrasound procedure performed to evaluate an unrelated condition. Her physicians failed to recommend and accomplish appropriate follow up evaluation of the lesion over a period of years. At the time of diagnosis years after the initial discovery of the nodule, the then much larger mass was confirmed to be advanced Stage 4 cancer that had metastasized to her lungs. Our client fought the cancer as hard as she could, but unfortunately passed away from the disease.
$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 Leg Amputation Following Vascular Surgery
William O. Crutchlow, Esq. of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP with offices in Edison and Toms River recently settled a case for $1,000,000 on behalf of a man in his early sixties who had his leg amputated below the knee following vascular surgery. Our client underwent bypass surgery to address blockages in certain arteries in his right leg. Shortly following the operation, the bypass failed resulting in loss of blood flow to the right leg below the knee. It was asserted through our vascular surgery experts that there was a significant delay in diagnosing the restriction in blood flow and the progressive injuries resulting from it which in turn led to corrective surgery being attempted far too late in time. Our client then developed Compartment Syndrome in his lower right leg that was mismanaged by his surgeon leading to further tissue damage and severe systemic illness. Ultimately, amputation was necessary to save our client’s life. We worked with experts in limb amputation and leg prosthetics to describe the difficulties encountered, the consequences of the amputation for our client and the permanent limitations that the loss of his leg will have on him. We also presented evidence to show the impact that the injuries have had and will have on our client’s wife from her perspective. This case settled for the entire insurance policy limits available to the defendant vascular surgeon.
$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.
$950,000 Settlement for Foot Drop Following Spinal Surgery
William O. Crutchlow, Esq. of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP with offices in Edison and Toms River recently settled a case for $950,000 for a woman in her seventies who suffered neurological injury during lumbar spinal fusion surgery. Our client suffered from significant lower back pain and from pain, numbness and weakness going down into her right leg due to a degenerative spinal condition. She sought the services of the defendant spine surgeon who recommended lumbar fusion surgery. During the subject surgery the surgeon improperly placed a fusion “cage” out of position and into contact with a nerve root controlling power and sensation in our client’s right foot and ankle. This caused significant neurological injury and permanently left our client with worsening of her pre-operative condition and with the loss of foot and ankle function – Foot Drop. This injury has persisted for several years since the surgery and is permanent. We presented the opinions of two Board Certified Spine Surgeons in support of our case and the consequential damages arising form the alleged negligence.
$950,000 Settlement for Wrongful Birth
William Crutchlow, Esq. of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP with offices in Edison, Toms River and Red Bank, New Jersey recently settled a Wrongful Birth case for the family of a girl suffering from genetic abnormalities. The case resolved for $950,000. Our clients sought the services of the defendant obstetrician to manage their pregnancy. The defendant failed to order proper, comprehensive pre-natal genetic testing and failed to refer his patient for necessary genetic counseling when presented with abnormalities on a pre-natal ultrasound. As a result, our clients were deprived of critically important information that would have fully informed their decisions on how to manage the pregnancy. The child suffers from permanent neurological and physical limitations which have caused her parents profound emotional distress and which will require medical care for life.
$950,000 Settlement for Perforated Bowel During Surgery Leading to Wrongful Death
William O. Crutchlow, Esq. of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP with offices in Edison and Toms River, New Jersey recently settled a Wrongful Death case arising from a perforated bowel that occurred during surgery for $950,000. Our client was a woman in her fifties when she underwent surgery to remove her gall bladder. The surgeon caused a hole in her bowel which went undetected at surgery and for several days thereafter. By the time the problem was diagnosed, bowel content leaking into the abdominal cavity had caused massive infection. Our client underwent several more surgeries, including the placement of a colostomy, and endured many months of wound care and antibiotic therapy in her effort to cure her condition. Unfortunately, these efforts were not successful, and she died from her injuries. Mr. Crutchlow worked on behalf of the woman’s estate which represented her husband and two teenage sons. Mr. Crutchlow worked with experts in General Surgery and Economics in the prosecution of this case.
$900,000 Settlement for Injuries During Gall Bladder Surgery
William O. Crutchlow, Esq. of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP with offices in Edison, Toms River and Red Bank, New Jersey recently settled a case for a woman in her thirties who was injured when a portion of her gall bladder was left behind during attempted gall bladder removal surgery. The error was not recognized at the time of surgery and went undiagnosed for several days. By the time the problem was identified, the retained portion of the gall bladder was necrotic, bile and digestive fluids had leaked into the abdomen and widespread infection had set in. Our client became severely ill, was transferred to the care of new doctors at a different hospital for corrective surgery, was placed on a ventilator and was in intensive care for several days. She recovered, but has been left with significant scarring, abdominal wall damage and intestinal dysfunction.
$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.
$775,000 Settlement for Injuries In Truck Accident
William O. Crutchlow, Esq. of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP with offices in Edison, Toms River and Red Bank, New Jersey recently settled a case for a commercial truck driver who was injured when the box truck he was operating was struck by a tandem dump truck that had sustained a tire failure. Our client suffered injuries to his left shoulder and knee, a concussion and developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He underwent surgery to repair the shoulder and knee damage, but has been left with limitations in his ability to use these joints and has been unable to physically requalify for his Commercial Driver’s License. He suffers from chronic headaches and continues to endure some cognitive dysfunction. Our client is an Army veteran who was unable to complete his term in the National Guard to qualify for his military pension due to his injuries. He has been able to return to work and to most of his activities, but will face the rest of his life with the permanent consequences of his injuries.
$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.