SEATTLE (November 15, 2021) – In a high-profile medical malpractice case against a pediatric cardiologist and his group, as well as a local children’s hospital, a Pierce County Superior Court jury returned a defense verdict in Link v. MultiCare Health System, et. al. The jury returned a unanimous defense verdict on October 29, rejecting the plaintiff’s $111 million damages claim in which plaintiff’s experts alleged that dysphagic choking, cerebral venous thrombosis (CVST) or reflex apnea could explain the infant’s grave neurological injuries.
Plaintiff alleged her infant daughter’s severe neurological impairment and shortened life expectancy stemmed from the actions of a board-certified pediatric cardiologist employed by a Puget Sound-based health care group. According to plaintiff’s modestly credentialed experts, a vascular ring caused the baby to choke, which then caused CVST, retinal hemorrhages and hypoxic injury.
Bertha Baranko Fitzer and Jennifer Merringer Veal, partners of Tyson & Mendes LLP, and the children’s hospital lawyers worked for four years to develop the expert testimony required to rebut the attacks on the science of abusive head trauma. Fitzer and Veal represented the cardiologist and his health care group. The children’s hospital was represented by Elizabeth Leedom and Erin Seeberger of Bennet Bigelow and Leedom in Seattle.
“The defense employed themes of common sense and reasonableness to show plaintiffs’ theories were purely speculative and that the sole proximate cause of her infant’s injuries was the negligent actions of her boyfriend,” explained Fitzer. “For instance, in rebutting the claim that CVST could have caused the injury, the lawyers showed the jury images of totally open ventricles and medical records documenting that the infant’s fontanelles were flat. Ultimately, the jury sided with the sound, evidence-based medicine which supported the medical diagnosis of abusive head trauma. . Our hearts go out to the plaintiff and her family for this tragedy.”
Said co-counsel Veal, “While our client did not dispute that the plaintiff’s daughter was born with an abnormality of the aorta and that her injuries were devastating, the evidence showed she was the victim of abusive head trauma, not medical negligence. Sadly, by the end of this case we were able to show that the plaintiff placed her trust with the wrong person.”
Veal and Fitzer – both seasoned medical malpractice defense attorneys – joined Tyson & Mendes’ Seattle office as partners on July 1, 2021, following the successful litigation of Kelly Green v. Franciscan Medical Group, which resulted in another noteworthy defense verdict for the duo.
Using a unique set of proven defense methods, Tyson & Mendes saved clients more than $606 million in indemnity in 2020, and over $500 million thus far in 2021.
For more information, visit www.tysonmendes.com.
About Tyson & Mendes LLP
Tyson & Mendes LLP is a nationwide, AV-rated litigation firm specializing in insurance defense. Founded in 2002, firm principals trial attorneys Robert Tyson and Patrick Mendes have grown the firm to 200 attorneys defending corporations, insurance companies and their clients in civil litigation matters throughout Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.
The firm is most widely recognized for winning the landmark Howell v. Hamilton Meats California Supreme Court case, which forever changed the state’s litigation landscape by significantly impacting the damages a plaintiff may recover. Robert Tyson is also the author of the Amazon Bestseller Nuclear Verdicts: Defending Justice for All, the first playbook for the defense on how to avoid runaway jury verdicts. For more information, visit www.tysonmendes.com.
Ashley Bendas, J. Walcher Communications