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Puerto Rico Law Firm Settlements
Recent settlements by Indiano & Williams, P.S.C.
MEDICAL MALPRACTICE


Aortic Dissection
Eliezer Rodríguez v. Sur Med Medical Center, Inc., et al.

Settlement obtained for family of aortic dissection patient who died as a result of the failure to conduct diagnostic tests and clinical evaluation appropriate to the signs and symptoms he presented.

Indiano & Williams, P.S.C. secured compensation in the amount of $475,000, for family of 39 year-old victim of medical malpractice. The young victim suffered an aortic dissection that was not diagnosed on a first visit to a primary care clinic due to the failure of the attending physician to verify the pulses in his legs in consideration of complaints of numbness in one of them. Moreover, even upon the insistence of the patient that he be performed and EKG because he had experienced excruciating chest pain, his troponin levels were not verified by means of blood tests. A neighbor of the family did think about the latter and volunteered to draw the blood and run the sample. An early morning visit on the following day to a hospital confirmed a non ST elevated myocardium infarct but, again, pulses on the extremities went unchecked even in light of continued complaints by the patient that he was suffering numbness on one of his legs. Seven hours elapsed between the patient having arrived in the emergency room of the hospital and the time when his complaint of leg numbness received the appropriate attention; the confirmation that the patient's pulses were decreased on the affected leg immediately gave way to the strong suspicion that he was suffering from a dissection of the aorta. Finding a specialist to operate on the patient took more than 24 additional hours, so that a 12-hour surgery, in the end, could not save the young man's life.


Cancer/Failure to Diagnose
Ana Ceasar et al. v Hospital Metropolitano et al.

Indiano & Williams, P.S.C. represented the surviving daughters and son of Lucila Maldonado and obtained substantial compensation for their mother’s death and pain and suffering.

Lucila Maldonado as a result of experiencing prolonged and extended periods of pain in the left ear, dizziness, and vertigo, visited her ENT for many months. The ENT doctor continually prescribed antibiotics for an infection that persisted. Lucila Maldonado had certain auditory, radiological, and other diagnostic tests that did not detect the growing cancer. At the hospital and other institutions, Ms. Maldonado had various radiological studies performed such as Xrays, CT, MRI where the cancer was neither detected, nor ruled out by the radiologists. Lucila Maldonado continued to be treated for a left ear mastoiditis, or infection, despite the fact that the left ear pain was persistent for months and various medications and/or antibiotics were prescribed and taken. Despite Lucila Maldonado’s condition and/or symptoms persisting, a biopsy was never taken. It was not until, Lucila Maldonado, sought treatment at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, that the tumor and squamous cell carcinoma in her left inner ear was promptly detected and diagnosed. Unfortunately, as a result of the cancer and the Defendants’ failure to timely identify and treat the condition, Lucila Maldonado suffered and eventually died on December 22, 2011.


Cardiac/Emergency
Luis Alberto Idelfonso v. Integrated Emergency Medical Services & Management of Rio Grande, Inc.

Indiano & Williams, P.S.C. obtains compensation for widow and son in settlement with doctors and emergency services clinic.

Patient reaches emergency room clinic with shortness of breath and cardiac insufficiency. There is undue delay in triage and treatment. The medical and nursing personnel failed to promptly secure the airway, breathing and circulation. The emergency clinic lacked basic equipment and medication for stabilizing and transferring patient causing patient to die.


Cardiac/Wrongful Death
Sandra González, et. al. v. Mayaguez Medical Center, et al.

Indiano & Williams, P.S.C. obtains a sizeable settlement for the death of a cardiac patient against hospital and doctors.

The patient undergoes a cardiac catheterization for an angiogram, which consisted of inserting a probe through the femoral artery of patient’s inguinal area of right leg to examine the heart. Patient is transferred to telemetry, in an unmonitored bed, and was on anticoagulation therapy, Plavix, and beta-blockers which made her more susceptible to hemorrhaging. Patient should have been referred to the cardiac coronary unit or intensive care unit where she could be monitored closely. While in the telemetry ward, patient experiences pain in right leg, abdomen and her extremities were very cold. Nursing care was either scarce or totally absent in the telemetry ward where she is found hypotensive. Patient dies as a direct result of the failure to adequately monitor, timely detect, address and treat the femoral bleed resulting in hypovolemic shock.


Coronary Disease/Staged Stenting
Ramírez-Ortiz v. Corporación del Centro Cardiovascular de Puerto Rico y del Caribe, et al.

Treatment with staged stenting procedures rather than open-heart surgery upon the presentation of multi-vessel coronary disease leads to the death of the father of four young men and Indiano & Williams obtained substantial settlement for them and the elderly widow.

In January 2012, the adoptive and biological father of three young men who were plaintiffs in this case in the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico, died as a result of a the fifth (5th) heart attack/myocardial infarct he suffered in the span of three weeks. Before this unfortunate event, Mr. Ramírez-Torres had been provided negligent medical treatment at two different hospitals and by five (5) different cardiologists. The negligent choice to treat this patient through multiple, staged stenting procedures, rather than conduct by-pass surgery to effectively address multi-vessel coronary disease and the mismanagement of pre-operating procedures once the delayed determination to conduct open heart surgery was made, led to the death of this much-loved man. The complaint in this case was filed in December of 2012 and a confidential settlement agreement permitted the case to be closed in the term of 1 year and 9 months, in September 2014.


Cosmetic Surgery/Electrical Burns
Hernandez-Flores v. Dr. Antonio Busquets-Ferriol, Doctors' Center Hospital San Juan, et al.

Compensation obtained for patient who received electrical burns in the operating room during cosmetic surgeries and resulted with heinous scars.

In September 2008 a young woman entered the operating room at Doctors' Center Hospital San Juan in order to have Dr. Antonio Busquets-Ferriol perform various cosmetic procedures on her breasts, abdomen and flanks. She entered the operating room unscathed; the following day at her home, she found out she had received electrical burns on the sides of each of her buttocks. The large, somewhat circular burns, measuring approximately 4 inches in diameter were caused by the failure of the hospital staff and the surgeon to properly ground the patient, in order to safely utilize electrosurgical equipment during the procedures. Additionally, a failure by the hospital staff and the physician to properly evaluate the patient for skin integrity after the surgery and, subsequently, before discharge, caused the emerging burns to go unnoticed. Finally, a failure by the physician to recognize the nature of the blisters and necrosis that developed in the days following, caused Dr. Busquets to provide inappropriate care to the harmed patient. The patients' burns took more than 7 months to heal under the care of a burn specialist; the patient, moreover, was left with heinous physical scars and deep emotional scars resulting from the trauma and the pain required to heal her burns though repeated debridement. Indiano & Williams, P.S.C. obtained a settlement of $190,000 for the Plaintiff after filing suit in diversity in the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico.


Failure to Treat Constipation
Rey Girón-Morel v. Hospital Damas, Inc., et. al.

Failure to promptly and adequately treat a mentally disabled patient from a hip-fracture, resulted in extended use of pain killers which combined with patient’s bedridden status developed severe constipation which went by undetected and untreated, despite the family members’ reiterated complaints. The total abandonment of this patient, by his attending physician and the nursing staff at the hospital, led to his ultimate demise by aspiration of his own feces. In September of 2014, Indiano & Williams obtained a sizeable settlement for the deceased patient’s siblings and father.

Indiano & Williams PSC obtained just compensation for the siblings and father of a 51 year-old handicapped man who suffered from mental retardation and motor aphasia, as a result of a medical malpractice. The lawsuit was filed against the patient’s attending physician and hospital where he was admitted for month-long hospitalization following a fall suffered by the patient at his residence as a result of which he fractured his left femur, very near to the connection with the hipbone. Delay in diagnosis and treatment of the fracture led to further complications, including the patient developing severe constipation as a result of his bedridden status and extended use of painkillers without the implementation of an adequate bowel regimen. As a result of the patient’s severe constipation, which was not timely monitored nor appropriately treated, his condition worsened and rapidly deteriorated leading to his death by aspiration of his own feces.


Hypotension
María Pérez-Lugo v. Grupo HIMA-San Pablo, Inc., et. al.

Indiano & Williams recovers a substantial settlement for the widow and children in a medical malpractice case involving the death of a 60-year-old woman,who developed hypotension after a 14 day-long hospitalization.

After being admitted for a diagnosis of gallstones, and while the patient was waiting to be operated on for this condition, she was not adequately treated for her diabetes, hypertension, cardiac condition, or the condition she later developed, breathing insufficiency. The Hospital was ill-equipped and liable for its negligent support personnel in crucial areas such as respiratory therapy, radiology and nursing care. Had the patient been correctly intubated, she would have ventilated better and thus, allowed more time to diagnose and treat her deteriorating condition of hypotension. The attending caring for the patient also failed to consult immediately with either a cardiologist or a pulmonologist despite this patient’s recent congestive heart failure diagnosis and previous intubation. The attending physician further deviated from the standard of care by failing to make a differential diagnosis of the patient’s condition to identify what was causing the hypotension. As a result, the patient died after a two-week long hospitalization, when she was left to die after becoming critically ill and being abandoned by her attending physician.


Nursing Home
Almaris Alonso et al. v. Luz de Esperanza Home Care Inc., et al.

Indiano & Williams, P.S.C. secured compensation for family of elderly gentleman that lived in a nursing home but was active in his wheelchair and relatively alert.

Due to inappropriate nursing care, the patient developed pressure ulcers in the heels of his feet which further developed into osteomyelitis and sepsis. The patient, while at the nursing home, became disoriented and his covered sores exuded a putrid smell. The patient’s infection was not followed up properly by the elderly home personnel, the nursing personnel, or the physician contracted by the nursing home to provide care. At the hospital, the nurses failed to turn or reposition the patient as required and failed to monitor and provide breathing exercises such as incentive spirometry. The physicians failed to provide proper medical care to prevent hospital acquired pneumonia or atelectasis. The medical personnel failed to provide adequate oral and/or pulmonary care. The doctors and nurse also failed to timely order, take, or obtain appropriate culture studies and failed to order and/or administer appropriate antibiotics and/or medications based on the results of the culture studies. As a result of the inadequate medical care, the patient died two weeks into his hospitalization.


Over-coagulation/Emergency
Frank G. Catalá Vélez v. Metro Santurce, Inc. d/b/a Hospital Pavía, et al., consolidated with Ivelisse Vélez v. Dr. Ileana Rivera-Artes

Failure to treat emergently a patient bleeding internally due to over-coagulation results in his death, and Indiano & Williams, P.S.C. obtains substantial settlement for his widow and two children.

In June 2014, Indiano & Williams, P.S.C. obtained a $600,000 settlement for the widow, minor daughter and son of young victim of malpractice in the handling of an internal bleeding emergency. The patient arrived in the emergency room of Hospital Pavía experiencing breathing difficulties and internal bleeding resulting from the use of prescribed Coumadin. A combination of patient abandonment by the attending physician and miscommunication between the latter and the emergency room physician in charge and other staff, led to the failure to recognize in this victim a hemoglobin level that was incompatible with life, the failure to appropriately coordinate treatment for metabolic acidosis with attempts to alleviate the state of agitated delirium caused by the low oxygenation of the patient and, ultimately, fatal cardiac failure. The patient died without receiving the required blood transfusion


Pelvic Mesh
Ana Correa-Bonilla, et. al. v. Dr. Rohel Pascual-Villaronga, et. al.

Indiano & Williams, obtains just compensation for a 60 year-old patient and her daughter, as a result of medical malpractice.

The law suit was filed against the patient’s primary care physician and treating gynecologist following an operation to treat incontinency due to a sagging bladder. The gynecologist recommended the insertion of a surgical mesh for pelvic prolapse. This physician never informed the patient of the inherent risks and accordingly, proper written consent was never obtained from the patient prior to the surgery. Following the surgery, and for nearly a year thereafter, the patient developed recurring urinary infections, pelvic pain and her incontinency worsened. Both her primary care physician and her gynecologist treated her with pain medication and/or antibiotics, without ever administering the appropriate tests to determine the cause of the patient’s recurring symptoms. The recurrent urinary infections and terrible pain had brought on other complications, and the patient ultimately had to be hospitalized for nearly a month to treat the severe infection before she underwent a second necessary surgery to remove the pelvic mesh. The delay had caused the mesh to disintegrate so severely within the bladder that the doctors were only able to remove a portion of it. Other parts of the mesh could not be removed due to the severity of the infected area and the patient will require additional surgery to remove the remaining parts.


Veteran/Wrongful Death
Sonia Bermúdez, et. al. v. U.S.

Settlement of $450,000 with Federal Government for malpractice claim involving death of a 49 year-old veteran, husband and father.

The Veterans Affairs Hospital failed to provide Mr. Zayas-González with adequate tumor surveillance, radiological studies and laboratory work-ups, as required in years subsequent to a Nephrectomy related to an occurrence of Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC). Surveillance protocols are aimed at detecting a cancerous recurrence at the earliest possible stage. Because the staff at Veterans Hospital denied Mr. Zayas-González the benefits of adequate and periodic surveillance, at the time of detection, his condition had developed into carcinomatosis, resulting in an extremely painful death.


Wrongful Death
Luz Miriam Torres, et. al. v. Mennonite General Hospital, Inc., et. al.

Indiano & Williams, P.S.C. recovers a substantial settlement for a widow and four children, in a medical malpractice which resulted in the painful and premature death of their 49-year old husband and father.

The negligence in this case is twofold. First of all, there was excessive delay in treatment and transfer of the patient from one ER facility to another; for more than eight (8) hours, ER physicians failed to transfer a patient that they could not adequately treat and who was suffering from a massive myocardial infarction in evolution and questionable early congestive heart failure. Unfortunately treatment for acute coronary syndrome (ACS) was not initiated in a timely fashion. The accepting facility was also negligent in accepting this patient, as they were ill-equipped and short-staffed to treat this patient for his heart condition, knowing that there were no on-call interventional cardiologists available to intervene with this patient on the day he was accepted at their facility. Secondly, multiple anticoagulants were administered without careful monitoring and oversight leading to massive bleeding and ultimate death. Without proper protocols in place to monitor the anticoagulation status of the patient that had received several anticoagulants (Lovenox, Plavix, Integrilin, and a thrombolytic medication) the patient developed profound DIG (disseminated intravascular coagulopathy), suffered a pulmonary arrest, requiring intubation and subsequently had a cardiac arrest.

 


PERSONAL INJURY

Motor Vehicle Accident
Román-Elliot v. Triple-S Propiedad, Inc.

Insurance company’s insured runs a red light and impacts a vehicle that was crossing the intersection, causing fractures, extreme pain, loss of consciousness, and persisting memory loss to three of the passengers.

Indiano & Williams recovers for all three injured passengers and obtains compensation of $250,000.00 in favor of all plaintiffs from Triple-S Propiedad, Inc. for the acts of one of its insured. The lawsuit was filed against the insurance company following a vehicular collision that took place in a four-way intersection directed by a stoplight. The car in which the plaintiffs were passengers had the green light in its favor and was making its way through the intersection when Triple-S Propiedad, Inc.’s insured ran the red light and impacted the left side of the plaintiffs’ vehicle. The collision caused the plaintiffs injuries to the back, neck, and head, even causing one of the plaintiffs a fracture in her left clavicle, and another plaintiff to lose consciousness and still suffer from memory loss.


Slip and Fall

Indiano & Williams, P.S.C. obtains significant settlement for 11 year-old who suffered His parents and minor siblings also received compensation for their pain and suffering.

A mother and her three children had their tropical pool day turn into a nightmare when an 11 year-old boy collided with a sliding glass. The young boy required emergency surgery to repair a fractured patella, lacerated ligaments and tendons and multiple cuts. The boy remained out of school for over three months and could only return after extensive physical therapy and with the aide of a wheelchair and, subsequently, crutches and a cane. In 2013, one (1) year after filing the complaint, Indiano & Williams, P.S.C. obtained significant compensation from the insurance company of the homeowner who rented residential premises that harbored a dangerous condition unknown to the occupants and visitors: sliding glass doors that failed to incorporate safety glass.


Motor Vehicle Accident

In 2012 Indiano & Williams, P.S.C. obtained a $6 million case settlement (confidential) and stipulated judgment for the victim of a vehicular accident.

In 2012 Indiano & Williams, P.S.C. obtained a significant case settlement (confidential) for the victim of a vehicular accident --$6 million. Between the filing of the complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico and the issuance of a stipulated judgment, only eleven (11) months elapsed. In this case, the 56 year-old victim of this accident was run over by an SUV whose intoxicated driver attempted to leave the scene, but was stopped by witnesses who helped the police block the road. The front and back wheels of the SUV ran over the victim, causing her multiple traumas including, but not limited to, a chest wall injury, multiple pelvic fractures, 17 rib fractures, multiple vertebral fractures, a pulmonary contusion with flail chest, cardiovascular injuries, bilateral lung pneumothorax, hypoxemia due to respiratory failure/insufficiency, a tracheostomy scar, multiple nerve injuries and many more too extensive to list. The victim was able to return to her home from the hospital fifteen (15) weeks after the accident and after undergoing various surgeries. At this time, she began physical and emotional therapy that continues to this day. In addition to receiving compensation for her enormous physical and emotional damages and her husband's emotional damages, the victim and her husband received compensation for the economic loss resulting from being unable to return to work and the financial toll that her care took on the family finances. On his/her part, the individual defendant agreed to make a contribution of his/her time, effort and energy to the local chapter of Mother's Against Drunk Driving (M.A.D.D.).


Slip and Fall
Lourdes Pérez v. Hostería del Mar and Young Entrepreneurs and Hoteliers Corp. (Y.E.A.H.)

Settlement obtained by Indiano & Williams for woman who slipped and fell due to cracked and worn tiles on hotel premises.

In December 2015, Indiano & Williams, P.S.C. obtained a $200,000 settlement for a middle-aged woman who sustained injuries as a result of a slip and fall at a hotel in Ocean Park, Puerto Rico in December 2013. The stairs on which the Plaintiff fell were the only means of reaching the guest rooms on the upper levels of the hotel, and were in deteriorated condition. In particular, several tiles were worn, cracked, and slippery. The stairs did not have anti slip grips or skid tape installed, and the terracotta tiles used in their construction had been known to break frequently. On the day of the accident, it had been raining heavily, which exacerbated the already dangerous condition of the stairs. Furthermore, no “wet floor” signs were posted on or adjacent to the stairs prior to or during the slip and fall. As a result of this slip and fall, Plaintiff injured her left shoulder, left arm and hand, and neck (cervical spine). These injuries required over 40 physical therapy sessions and caused permanent damage to the affected areas. Indiano & Williams obtained just compensation for Plaintiff a year after filing the case.


Slip and Fall
Julie Yasaki, et. al. v. ACE Insurance Company, et. al.

In January of 2015, Indiano & Williams PSC, obtained compensation for a slip and fall victim in this personal injury case.

Plaintiff while walking on the hotel property of Grand Meliá Puerto Rico Golf Resort, in Rio Grande, fell into an unmarked drainage ditch near the Red Level Pool and injured her right foot, suffering a sprained ankle and a broken cuboid bone. The Plaintiff was placed in a cast, ordered to not put any weight on her right foot and unable to drive for three months. She continued to experience pain and swelling in her right foot after prolonged standing or walking, receiving biweekly laser treatment.