Ross Feller Casey won a major, $5.1 million medical malpractice verdict in Mercer County involving the wrongful death of a 57-year-old man from New Castle, Pennsylvania.
At $5,093,790, the verdict is among the highest ever for Mercer County, according to The Sharon Herald newspaper (read the story).
The lawsuit alleged, among other things, that the orthopedic surgeon, Robert W. Piston, M.D., of Hermitage, didn’t review the latest x-rays before performing total hip replacement surgery on Thomas A. Natale, Jr. in 2007. The x-ray report indicated that Natale had developed a high fever and was suffering from shortness of breath and pain and should never had been operated on.
He died a month later of pulmonary failure complicating adult respiratory distress syndrome.
Attorney Joshua Van Naarden of Ross Feller Casey represented Natale’s family.
For a front-page story, Van Naarden told The Legal Intelligencer that a pivotal factor at the two-week trial was a dispute between Piston and a treating nurse regarding whether the doctor should have been aware of Natale’s deteriorating condition before he underwent surgery.
“I believe the jury got it right, and they rejected his testimony. We believe that the verdict was just,” Van Naarden told the paper (read the story).