Lori Semlies (Partner-White Plains), with Judy Selmeci (Partner-New York) and White Plains associates Fiachra Moody and Anna Borea, secured a defense verdict on behalf of a hospital client in Dutchess County Court. The hospital and co-defendant, an emergency medicine doctor, were accused of negligently placing an oral gastric tube into a then 70-year-old man that allegedly perforated his esophagus resulting in his death. It was further alleged that the hospital failed to properly monitor the patient and identify signs and symptoms of the perforation earlier. Lori and her team presented evidence that the perforation could not have been in the esophageal juncture since x-rays showed free air only below the diaphragm, indicating that it emanated from the bowel. Lori argued that the decedent had a history of long-term steroid use and gastritis that put him at an increased risk for a spontaneous perforation of the bowel. No CT scan or autopsy was performed to confirm the location of the perforation. After multiple motions in limine, including a successful motion to preclude the consideration of pain and suffering damages, and denial of a motion for a mistrial after co-defendant's expert accidentally blurted out that he was paid by the insurance company for his time, the jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of both defendants.
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