Deceased Sanitation Worker’s Family Receives $21.5 Million in Pretrial Settlement of Accident/Medical Malpractice Case
Paul Dansker of Dansker& Aspromonte on May 6th, settled the case of Rafael C. v. the City of New York and St. Barnabas Hospital et al before jury selection commenced.
The underlying accident occurred on Dec. 9, 2006, at 2:45 am on 188th St and Washington Ave in the Bronx, when while in the course of picking up garbage, the driver of the sanitation truck Mr. C was riding in, lost control of the truck, ejecting Mr. C and running over his leg. An ambulance took the plaintiff to St. Barnabas Hospital where, at 3 am, he was seen immediately by Dr. Weitzen who was a trauma surgeon. He determined that the patient was bleeding internally in his leg but instead of stopping the bleeding, he called the vascular surgeon on call, Dr. Weintraub, who was then supposed to appear at the hospital within 30 minutes to perform the necessary surgery, but did not show up for 2 ½ hours. In the meantime, the staff was supposed to perform an angiography to determine exactly where the bleeding was coming from but there was no team at the hospital and it took an hour and forty minutes to assemble the team to do the test. In the meantime, Mr. C is bleeding to death but instead of stopping the bleeding, they pump him with saline solution to maintain his blood pressure. Despite successful surgery to repair his torn superficial femoral artery behind his knee, Mr. C ultimately died from a condition known as abdominal compartment syndrome where his abdomen filled with so much extraneous fluid it killed his intestines and other organs.
Mr. C was survived by his common law wife and two daughters, ages 6 and 1. Mr. C had been a sanitation worker for 1 year and also worked a full time job for Fordham Toyota as a porter. Despite working two jobs, he still found time to take his daughter to and from school and help with her homework. On weekends, he helped clean the house and do the laundry as well as attending church every Sunday.
Because this case involved both a negligence cause of action and claims of malpractice against St. Barnabas Hospital and their staff doctors, it was very complex, requiring coordination with nine law firms.
In situations like this, the original tortfeasor, here the City of New York by its driver Mr. Williams, is legally responsible for all events that follow so long as they are foreseeable. In this case, medical malpractice by the hospital where the accident victim was taken is considered by law as a foreseeable consequence.
A portion of the recovery was placed in a structured settlement. This a device that protects the settlement funds and grows the money at a steady rate of interest, totally protected from fluctuations in the stock market and pays out the money at various junctures like college and milestone birthdays, all while paying a monthly check for expenses. In addition, the money and interest are completely tax free.
Dansker & Aspromonte is proud to help this wonderful man’s family and expect that he would approve of the results achieved.