Senior Trial Partner Anthony M. Sola, assisted by Partner Thomas Kroczynski and Associate Andrew Meier, obtained a defense verdict in the Supreme Court, Queens County on April 18, 2016, following a three-week trial. The case was tried before a jury and Justice Timothy Dufficy. The matter involved a 26-year-old woman who had just delivered twins at 34 weeks gestation and shortly after birth developed severe preeclampsia, sustained a grand mal seizure (eclampsia) and had an intracranial hemorrhage. The central claim was that, when the patient developed hypertension post-delivery and complained of a severe headache with a pain scale of 10 out of 10, the severe preeclampsia was not immediately recognized, and magnesium sulfate to prevent the eclampsia was not started for a full hour.
Our client, the private attending physician, had already left the teaching hospital and was managing the care by phone with the residents during the critical hour. We were fortunate to get into evidence the ACOG Practice Bulletin relevant to the time period and demonstrate that at that time the standard was not to employ magnesium sulfate unless one had a diagnosis of sever preeclampsia, which included proteinuria which was not present, and blood pressures more severe than what she had at the critical time. We successfully demonstrated that the patient had an unusual, atypical presentation of preeclampsia and our care was within the standards as they existed at the time.