$2.5 Million Settlement for Permanent Nerve Injury Caused by Medical Malpractice to Our Physician Client

Because of the Zinn Law Firm’s reputation as one of the Bay Area’s best advocates for those injured by medical malpractice, when local physicians themselves are victims of medical mistakes, they often hire us. In one such case, the Zinn Law Firm had the honor of representing one of the Bay Area’s top physicians in her field. In April 2011, she went in for a routine cardiac catheterization to explore for potential blockages around her heart. The standard of care in performing this procedure is to administer the blood thinner Heparin to the patient before the catheter is inserted into the artery to protect the patient from suffering dangerous blood clots which the procedure can otherwise cause. For reasons that he was never able to adequately explain, the physician performing the catheterization failed to pre-treat our client with Heparin. As a result, our client suffered a significant thrombosis, or blot clot, in her dominant arm.

The blood clot was so large and difficult to treat, that before it could be evacuated, blood supply and oxygen was cut off to important nerve complexes in our client’s arm. As a result, our client suffered severe and permanent hypoxic nerve injury to her dominant arm, leaving her with chronic pain and weakness in her arm. The pain was so bad that she was unable to focus or document charts using her medical group’s required electronic medical record system. Sadly, because of this, our client was terminated from her position as a physician by her medical group due to her inability to perform her basic job duties. The physician’s group that employed the doctor that injured our client maintained that the injury was not that severe, and that our client was terminated for other reasons related to her job performance. In support of this, the physician group paid tens of thousands of dollars to have our client secretly followed and videoed by several different private detectives in the hope that this surveillance would show that she had been exaggerating, or even making up her injuries.

The Zinn Law firm obtained the complete footage of dozens of hours of surveillance videos that the defendant’s private investigators obtained of our client. We performed a detailed, painstaking review of the over 50 hours of footage. As a result of this analysis, we were able to show that the bulk of the footage showed our client walking in and out of stores, her gym, and her car, holding and guarding her arm constantly. The footage showed her trying to avoid using her arm altogether, letting others open and close doors, or her cradling her arm as she attempted to participate in exercise classes.

In the end, the surveillance footage taken by the defense was some of the best evidence in the case that in fact our client had suffered a permanent, life changing injury due to her physician’s failure to exercise due care in the performance of the cardiac catheterization. In the end, the physician group agreed to pay $2.5 million to compensate our client for her pain, suffering, future medical needs, and for her significant past and future loss of earnings.

Because our reputation as ethical, hard-working attorneys in the medical malpractice field, we have had the privilege of representing several other prominent Bay Area physicians in their medical malpractice cases. Physicians we have worked with as experts or treating physicians have also referred their friends and patients to us for their injury cases. But of course you do not need to be a doctor, or a friend of a doctor, to have some of San Francisco’s best medical malpractice attorneys represent you if you were injured. Most of our clients never thought they would have to hire an attorney to investigate whether medical mistakes have caused them harm or loss.

If you are concerned that a physician, hospital, nurse, medical product or device has caused you injury, please contact the Zinn Law Firm for a free consultation: (415) 292-4100.