New Hampshire Trial Lawyers Association Verdicts and Settlement Report

PO Box 447

Concord, NH  03302-0447



Case Title                      Anonymous v. Anonymous                                          


County                         Rockingham                                                                 


Date of Injury:               February 27 and March 1, 2003                                    


Liability Facts:


This is a medical negligence case arising from the defendants’ care and treatment of the plaintiff when he presented to a Seacoast Hospital on February 27 and March 1, 2003.  The plaintiff, during each presentation, was an extremely high-functioning, 28-year old man with cerebral palsy.  On February 27, 2003, the plaintiff was discharged from the hospital on pain medications and Benadryl, although he should have been admitted to the hospital due to his already underlying compromised respiratory system and the number of medications he required.  By March 1, 2003, the plaintiff’s overall condition had worsened although his lungs showed improving pneumonia in each base.  The plaintiff had not slept or eaten well since his prior presentation and his pain medication was not controlling his pain.  The plaintiff’s dehydration, poor nutrition and lack of sleep caused his underlying cerebral palsy to worsen and he had developed severe canker sores on his tongue, Despite this presentation, the defendants again did not admit the plaintiff to the hospital, but rather prescribed multiple fentanyl patches to this quadriplegic patient with cerebral palsy and a weight less than 80 lbs, who had presented for acute management of his pneumonia and the pain from his canker sores.  The plaintiff was discharged to home with incorrect discharge instructions, which did not list the medications he had been prescribed or the physician he had been treated by.  The following day, the plaintiff’s primary care provider was called because the plaintiff was still unable to sleep.  The PCP, after learning the plaintiff had been to the hospital for treatment twice in the past three days, prescribed additional sleeping medications without first determining what medications the plaintiff was on and without ever calling the emergency room physician to find out what treatment had already been received. Sometime in the middle of the night on March 3, 2003, the plaintiff went into cardiopulmonary and respiratory arrest and suffered a hypoxic-ischemic brain injury.  Prior to this event, the plaintiff lived with and was cared for by his family.  Because of the injuries suffered as a result of the defendants’ negligence, the plaintiff now requires 24 hour inpatient care at a rehabilitation center.


Plaintiffs:       1)  SexM         Age28 



Plaintiffs’ Theories of Liability:


Throughout the course of the defendants’ medical care and management of the plaintiff, they failed to recognize and properly diagnose and treat his pneumonia.  Furthermore, they improperly discharged the plaintiff, failing to admit him to the hospital for additional appropriate care and treatment.   While the defendants should have admitted the plaintiff to the hospital on each presentation, they provided improper and inadequate discharge instructions when they improperly discharged him to home.  Finally, the defendants prescribed the wrong medications, too many medications, and contraindicated medications due to their failures in communication, which were a significant contributing cause of his cardiopulmonary arrest and permanent, severe brain damage.


Defendants’  Theories of Defense:


General denials of negligence and assertions that all of their treatment fell within applicable medical standards.




As a result of the defendants’ negligence, the plaintiff requires 24 hour skilled nursing care in a rehabilitation facility. The plaintiff suffered from days of pain from his pneumonia and other complications, as well endured a cardiopulmonary arrest and permanent, severe brain damage. The plaintiff additionally suffered, and will continue to suffer, extreme physical pain and suffering, mental pain and anguish, an extreme loss of enjoyment of life, numerous lost opportunities and he requires costly and extensive medical, hospital and skilled life-long care and treatment



Medical Expenses:                                                      $ 1,901,030.58

Life Care Plan Range                               $3,340,600-$13,637,100.00

Total Specials:                                        $5,241,630.58- $15,538,130.58




The parties reached confidential settlements after suit was filed but prior to trial.




For the Plaintiff:  Mark A. Abramson, Esquire and Kevin F. Dugan, Esquire