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New York: Malpractice Suit Over Guard's Death Settles For $2,500,000

On March 21, 2002, an unidentified plaintiff settled this medical
malpractice claim against two physicians for $2,500,000. At issue was the
medical treatment of a Riker's Island guard who suffered a heart attack in
front of the jail's infirmary.

Upon suffering bruises and contusions while suppressing a riot at the jail,
decedent came under the care of a family physician shortly after October
18, 1995. Decedent returned to work approximately five months later. Soon
thereafter, decedent suffered a cardiac arrest in front of the prison
infirmary. Although a defibrillator was available, the jail physician, who
was employed by an unnamed private medical provider, made no attempt to
defibrillate decedent, and decedent died.

Plaintiff contended that although the family physician noted longstanding
hypertension, the physician failed to conduct an EKG which would have led
to the discovery of decedent's enlarged heart. Plaintiff further contended
that the family physician failed to act on the report of a cardiologist,
which noted abnormalities.

Plaintiff claimed that the jail physician negligently failed to use the
defibrillator and negligently attempted to intubate decedent, inserting
three endotracheal tubes into his esophagus.

Decedent was survived by his wife and three-year-old child. Plaintiff made
no claim of conscious pain and suffering.

Prior to trial, the case settled for $2,250,000 ($1,500,000 from the family
physician, $750,000 from the prison physician).

Plaintiff was represented by Alan F. Pitman of the Manhattan law firm
Deblasic, Figman, Epstein & LaFocca. See: Galloway v. NYCHHC, Queens County
(court unknown), Case No. unknown.

Source: New York Jury Verdict Feview & Analysis, Index No. 205/97

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Related legal case

Galloway v. NYCHHC