Additional Case Histories

Motor Vehicle Crash

Duffy & Duffy secured a $6.75 million settlement on behalf of a 65-year-old man who suffered a traumatic brain injury and permanent physical injuries when he was hit by a motor vehicle while crossing Stewart Avenue in Garden City, NY. At the time of the accident, the plaintiff was standing in the center turn lane waiting for westbound traffic to clear so he could reach his bus stop located on the north side of the street. It was alleged that the driver of the vehicle, who was entering the center turn lane to make a left turn at the time, failed to see the subject in the roadway prior to impact.

Untimely Action

Duffy & Duffy secured a $6,250,000 settlement on behalf of a woman whose premature birth could have been prevented with a timely sonogram. As a result of the premature birth, the woman gave birth to a baby who suffered brain damage. The mother presented symptoms of preterm labor- including cramping, bleeding and cervical incompetence. Although numerous sonograms were conducted prior to her exhibiting symptoms, none were taken on the date of her premature delivery.

Failure to Diagnose

Duffy & Duffy secured a $4,725,000 settlement for a man who now has permanent physical and cognitive deficits as a result of an aortic root aneurysm. After his twin brother was diagnosed with the same condition, the client underwent a screening echocardiogram and a chest x-ray since he was at a higher risk. Tragically the aortic aneurysm was overlooked and ruptured 19 months later.

Prenatal Negligence

Duffy and Duffy secured a $4,250,000 settlement on behalf of an infant child, whose mother reported decreased fetal movement in the day preceding the child’s birth. As a result of the physician’s failure to properly recognize the significance of this complaint, the patient was not admitted for appropriate monitoring and treatment, thereby increasing the need for a premature delivery. Additionally, after the mother arrived at the emergency room, the staff failed to immediately address the fetal distress that was evidenced on fetal monitoring strips. As a result, the infant sustained brain injury associated with premature birth which was compounded by hypoxic injury shortly before his birth.

Slow to Diagnose

Duffy & Duffy secured $3,800,000 for the family of a patient who died from a sino-nasal cancer, which had caused him sinal pain/congestion for 20 months and was incorrectly diagnosed as rhinitis, sinusitis and allergies by the doctor. By not performing a CT Scan after three months, the doctor allowed the tumor to grow beyond the sino-nasal space and into the brain, making the cancer incurable and fatal.

Mismanaged Care

Duffy & Duffy secured a $3,000,000 settlement on behalf of a family when a physician’s mismanagement of prenatal care resulted in premature birth, leading to brain damage.

Improper Treatment

Duffy & Duffy secured a $2.95 million settlement on behalf of the family of a 27-year-old man who died from cardiopulmonary arrest, due to or as a consequence of bilateral pneumonia. The settlement was reached on the third day of trial in the Supreme Court of Nassau County.

Duffy & Duffy established that the defendants failed to timely and properly treat a viral and bacterial infection, as well as bilateral pneumonia. This was proven by showing that the defendants failed to timely and properly administer antiviral and antibiotic therapies, and negligently and improperly discontinued antiviral and antibiotic therapies.

Failure to Timely Diagnose

Duffy and Duffy secured a $2,750,000 settlement on behalf of a 31-year-old woman who died of ovarian cancer after physicians failed to recognize the significance of findings on radiographic studies. By the time the correct diagnosis was made one year later, the patient had Stage III disease and died shortly after the diagnosis.

Failure to Diagnose

Duffy & Duffy secured $2,500,000 for the family of a woman who died from a blood clot in her leg vein that later traveled to her lungs, an ailment known as deep venous thrombosis (DVT). The patient was at risk for DVT since she was on birth control and while the doctor suspected this, the condition was not diagnosed or treated, which led to the patient’s death.

Misreading

Duffy & Duffy secured a $1,931,530 settlement on behalf of a family left fatherless after a rheumatologist misread a man’s chest x-ray, failing to recognize lung cancer. Even though the man had a chronic cough as well as aches and pains in both his knees and ankles (which are both warning signs of lung cancer) – the doctor did not recommend any further diagnostic tests. At the time the x-ray was taken, had the lung tumor been detected, it could have been removed. By the time this man’s cancer was diagnosed a year later, it had spread to both lungs.

Negligence

Duffy & Duffy secured a $1,300,000 settlement for a woman who was left with only 50%-60% mobility in her arm as well as numerous other complications after a medical procedure. Duffy & Duffy proved that this resulted when the wrong tendon was released in the injured woman’s shoulder, and a foreign body was left in her shoulder during surgery. She also now has carpal tunnel syndrome, which is extremely painful.

Failure to Properly Evaluate

Duffy & Duffy secured a $1,250,000.00 settlement on behalf of a child who suffers from mild cerebral palsy as a result of his premature birth. The condition required him to receive physical and occupational therapy. Duffy & Duffy proved that the mother’s doctor departed from good and accepted practice by failing to properly evaluate her immediately upon concern that she ruptured her water. The firm also proved that the doctor failed to perform the proper tests and timely and properly administer antibiotics and recognize and act upon non-reassuring fetal heart rate tracings.

Failure to Investigate

Duffy & Duffy secured a $1,250,000 settlement on behalf of a family when physicians failed to properly investigate a suspicious right breast lump reported by the patient. Physicians did not perform a complete differential diagnosis, and did not refer her for additional testing and consultations. While physicians later identified breast cancer, it was too late as the patient passed away due to a heart attack, stemming from the cancer.

Failure to Diagnose

Duffy and Duffy secured a settlement of $1,175,000 for the family of a patient who died from a fatal heart attack due to heart disease that was undiagnosed. Despite the patient’s obesity, elevated cholesterol, hypertension and a family history of cardiac disease,  he was not referred to a cardiologist nor was an EKG performed during 24 office visits over a 16 month period. The patient suffered a fatal heart attack due to coronary artery disease shortly after being admitted to a hospital emergency room.

Failure to Diagnose

Duffy and Duffy secured a $1,175,000 settlement on behalf of a 2-year-old child who died after physicians failed to properly diagnose the child with dehydration. The emergency room physicians discharged the child without considering dehydration, a condition which can easily be treated.  Several days after the child was discharged, the child suffered a cardio-pulmonary arrest and died.

Failure to Act

Duffy & Duffy secured a $1,100,000 settlement on behalf of a 79-year-old retired man who developed Stage 4 lung cancer with metastasis to his brain. Duffy & Duffy properly demonstrated that failure to timely investigate the man’s abnormal chest x-ray finding and diagnose lung cancer caused the cancer to metastasize- and ultimately led to his death. During pre-operative surgical work-up for an unrelated condition, a chest x-ray was performed which demonstrated an ill-defined, spiculated density in the man’s left lung. The interpreting radiologist recommended a CT Scan for further evaluation. Tragically, no one followed-up on the recommendation and 17 months later the man was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. He passed away two months later.

Failure to Act

Duffy and Duffy secured a $1,000,000 settlement on behalf of a woman who died following complaints of abdominal pain and diarrhea. The patient was admitted for thoracic surgery after radiology testing revealed that she had an artheroma distal to her aortic arch. Due to her continuing abdominal complaints, a colonoscopy was performed to rule out bowel ischemia. Despite the patient’s inability to eat for approximately two weeks prior to the colonoscopy, the physician attributed his inability to advance due to a ‘poor colon prep’ and no further studies were performed. Prior to the arranged aortic surgery, the patient’s status deteriorated and she was moved to the ICU, where an abdominal x-ray revealed free air in the abdomen. Despite emergency abdominal surgery, the patient died the following day.

Motor Vehicle Crash

Duffy & Duffy secured a $975,000 settlement following a motor vehicle accident. The patient suffered three hours of pain in the hospital, and eventually died, following a collision with a drunken diver. The bar allowed the drunken diver to continue to drink, despite being visibly intoxicated, and drive home, resulting in the crash.

Failure to Act

Duffy and Duffy secured a $950,000 settlement on behalf of a 60-year-old married man after a hospital failed to properly recognize and treat pulmonary problems. This patient was brought to the hospital after suffering significant injuries in a motorcycle accident.  While he was being treated for some of the obvious injuries he sustained, the hospital failed to appropriately monitor the patient’s respiratory status and ignored complaints from the patient. As a result of these respiratory complications, the patient slipped into a coma and died.

Failure to Adhere to Proper Standards

Duffy & Duffy secured a $950,000 settlement on behalf of a family when a physician failed to properly adhere to proper medical standards and follow up with his patient who had been unable to tolerate an MRI, yet required additional testing. The patient initially suffered from a shoulder injury, but physicians did not perform tests in a timely manner nor correctly interpret them. The patient’s arm and shoulder were amputated, but it was too late and she died a few months later.

Failure to Diagnose

Duffy & Duffy secured an $875,000 settlement on behalf of a woman whose breast cancer that had gone undiagnosed for more than two years caused her to undergo a mastectomy to remove a large tumor. After feeling he mass in her breast, she went to her doctor for a mammography. Failing to find the tumor, the doctors told her it was normal tissue. Still complaining of the mass, the doctors sent her for a follow up mammography. Six months after being told that everything was normal, her doctor found the tumor.

Failure to Act

Duffy & Duffy secured a $750,000 settlement on behalf of a family when physicians failed to properly perform a Morgan Clamp circumcision on a new born. In addition, physicians failed to timely recognize the extent and nature of the injury caused during the circumcision.

Failure to Properly Diagnose

Duffy and Duffy secured a $750,000 settlement on behalf of a 52-year-old man who died from a treatable infection. After undergoing a colorectal surgery related to the patient’s history of colon cancer, physicians failed to recognize the infection. As a result, the patient went into a coma and died.

Failure to Diagnosis

Duffy & Duffy secured a $700,000 settlement on behalf of a family after doctors failed to diagnose lung cancer in their 64 year old failure under after it had metastasis to his kidney. The delay in diagnosis permitted the cancer to progress from a Stage I-II (which can be treated with surgical resection) to Stage IV. The man died 14 months after diagnosis.

Failure to Timely Diagnose

Duffy & Duffy secured $650,000 for the family of a 66-year-old woman who died due to the progression of hyperthyroidism. Although the condition is treatable, failure to timely and properly diagnose and treat the patient resulted in an onslaught of additional symptoms, including respiratory distress, organ failure, and coma. Failure to refer the patient to an endocrinologist or perform a blood test to check thyroid function resulted in the additional symptoms, known as thyroid storm. One week after being hospitalized, the mother of three grown children passed away.

Delay in Diagnosis

Duffy & Duffy secured a settlement of $650,000 on behalf of a 56-year-old woman when physicians delayed the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer following a routine mammogram and breast ultrasound. While the mammogram was reported as normal, the ultrasound report identified a mass in the right breast and recommended a biopsy of the lesion. The patient was never advised of the ultrasound findings and the patient’s gynecologist claimed that he never received the ultrasound report from the radiologist. During a routine gynecology visit 20 months later, a mass, identified as invasive ductal carcinoma, was discovered. She underwent a lumpectomy followed by chemotherapy and has been cancer free for four years.

Failure to Act

Duffy & Duffy secured a $650,000 settlement on behalf of a child who suffer from Erb’s Palsy after doctors failed to timely and properly deliver the infant via c-section. The mother’s sonogram revealed that the estimated fetal weight was 3859 grams, reflected that the fetus was Large for Gestational Age, a risk factor for shoulder dystocia. there was no indication that the option of a cesarean section was offered to the mother in light of this potential danger. Duffy & Duffy proved that the since the fetus was LGA and the mother was obese, the possibility of shoulder dystocia was increased and precautions should have been taken to avoid that possibility. As a result of the malpractice in this action, the infant plaintiff suffers from a mild Erb’s palsy.

Mismanaged Care

Duffy & Duffy secured a $550,000 settlement on behalf of the estate of a 75-year-old woman who underwent a total hip replacement. The surgery was improperly performed, leading to a weakening of the pelvis and destablization of the acetabular component. This resulted in the migration of the acetabular component into the pelvis, which required surgical revision.

Equipment Misuse

Duffy and Duffy secured a $500,000 settlement on behalf of a 76-year-old man who had a PEG feeding tube improperly removed from his stomach following small bowel surgery. After recovering from the small bowel surgery, the physician removed the PEG tube, leaving the retained balloon portion of it to pass through the patient’s intestinal tract. The retained portion of the tube caused an obstruction and perforation of the small intestine which caused the patient’s death five weeks later.

Failure to Timely Diagnose

Duffy & Duffy secured a $500,000 settlement on behalf of a thirty-five year-old woman who suffered a post-operative infection due to a ruptured intra-abdominal abscess. The woman returned to the emergency room twice after her initial discharge . Although the complaints were consistent with post-operative infection, a ruptured intra-abdominal abscess measuring 12 cm X 12 cm was not detected by physicians until a third visit. As a result, several surgeries for wound infection and repair of an incisional hernia were required.

Negligence

Duffy & Duffy secured a $500,000 settlement on behalf of a family following negligent post-operative monitoring of a 5 year-old child. A shunt revision for hydrocephalus led to wrongful death with 12 hours of conscious pain and suffering.

Failure to Act

Duffy & Duffy secured a $437,500 settlement on behalf of an 80-year-old patient after physicians failed to recognize and evaluate a right thigh hematoma during a total hip replacement surgery. The patient developed sciatic nerve damage with resulting foot drop following the procedure. By the time the hematoma was diagnosed three days later, the injury to the sciatic nerve was permanent.

Excessive Force

Duffy & Duffy secured a $425,000 verdict on behalf of a woman who suffered a ruptured spleen during a colonoscopy, which was later removed because of intense abdominal pain as a result. Duffy & Duffy proved that excessive was used during the procedure, which caused the injury. The physician performing the colonoscopy did not guide the colonoscope in a gentle, smooth manner.

Failure to Diagnose

Duffy & Duffy secured a $375,000 settlement for a young boy who suffered a collapsed lung after his doctors failed to diagnose and treat his illness. Duffy & Duffy proved that the doctors failed to diagnose his pneumonia, which can often lead to complications, such as a collapsed lunch. The boy had to endure surgery, a respirator, a period of induced medicated coma as well as methadone treatment for withdrawal from medications during his recovery.

Domestic Injury

Duffy & Duffy negotiated a $350,000 settlement in Queens County on behalf of a 60-year-old woman who suffered ankle and leg fractures following the collapse of a wooden deck behind a private home. The case was resolved just before jury selection and after a lengthy defense involving motions and an appeal.

Failure to Act

Duffy & Duffy secured a $300,000 settlement on behalf of a 53 year-old woman who developed bile salt diarrhea after the operating physician perforated the woman’s small intestine during a laparoscopic ovarian cystectomy. Although the patient contacted the physician’s office twice in the five days following her discharge from the hospital complaining of abdominal pain, only over-the-counter medication was prescribed. Five days after the initial surgery, the woman was admitted to the emergency room, where the perforation was finally detected and emergency surgery to remove 10 inches of small intestine was performed. The removal in turn caused the permanent bowel condition, which the patient experiences following every meal.

Complications

Duffy & Duffy secured a $150,000 settlement for a teenage boy who suffered complications resulting from routine surgery. The teenager underwent surgery after complaining of abdominal pain. During the surgery the doctor cut a hole in the boy’s artery that caused the need for a blood transfusion. After several days in intensive care, the boy was released from the hospital. The abdominal pain that caused the boy to have surgery is still present and he now suffers from a condition known as retrograde ejaculation.