Wrongful Death Lawyers With An Edge Jury Award $3.6 Million

Founding partner, Richard A. Gurfein, tried a medical malpractice case to verdict in Nassau County, NY. The jury awarded the family of a 60-year-old auto mechanic $3.6 million dollars for his wrongful death. 

On July 23, 2010, Nelson Zuluaga drove himself to Winthrop Hospital because he had chest pain, shortness of breath, and palpitations.  These were the same symptoms he had four months earlier, in March, also bringing him to Winthrop’s emergency room.  At that time, a cardiologist assigned to him diagnosed Atrial Fibrillation and performed a cardioversion (synchronized shock to the heart), and restored his normal heartbeat.

Mr. Zuluaga was admitted to Winthrop Hospital from the emergency room and placed on a telemetry floor until Monday, when the cardiologist planned to do another cardioversion.  However, around Midnight the first night, he had an episode of five beats of ventricular tachycardia, renewed chest pain at a lower heart rate, and a prolonged QT interval on his EKG.

 These three new symptoms should have caused him to be moved to the CCU or coronary care unit, where his condition would be more intensive monitoring.  He was not transferred to a more suitable unit.  The following night, Saturday night at 2:40 AM Sunday, he again experienced five beats of ventricular tachycardia, and the nurse notified the resident on call.  This time no one came to the floor to examine Mr. Zuluaga, no vital signs were recorded in the chart, no orders were given, and he was not transferred to the CCU.  At 5:50 AM, he suffered a cardiac arrest, and a team was called to the telemetry floor.  Resuscitation lasted one hour and twenty minutes.  He was shocked on four separate occasions.  He survived but suffered brain damage from lack of oxygen due to the extra time it took to start resuscitation.  Had he been in the CCU, resuscitation would have begun much sooner, and brain damage would have been avoided.

The Need To Sue A Hospital for Negligence Leading to Wrongful Death In Nassau County, New York

Mr. Zuluaga spent the next five and a half months at Winthrop Hospital with many medical problems caused by brain damage and inactivity.  He was then transferred to A. Holly Patterson Nursing Home, with a few short weeks of their therapies, he could speak and make purposeful movements of his arms and legs.  Unfortunately, while he was immobile at Winthrop, a feeding tube had to be inserted through the stomach wall because he could not control his muscles sufficiently to chew or swallow.  That tube became clogged on April 14, 2011, and he was taken to Nassau University Medical Center for evaluation and surgery.  Before that could be done, he suffered a respiratory arrest and cardiac arrest and could not be resuscitated and passed away on April 15, 2011, nine months after the arrest at Winthrop.

The jury made awards for wrongful death, medical expenses, loss of wages, loss of pension benefits, conscious pain and suffering, and loss of consortium totaling $3,600,069.00 against Winthrop Hospital for the failure of the resident on call to respond to the nurse’s notice of 5 beats of ventricular tachycardia.

Mr. Zuluaga is survived by his wife, Isabel, his children, Nelson B. and Nelisa, and one grandchild. 

If You Need To Sue A Hospital For Wrongful Death Lawsuit from Heart To Brain Injury

Richard Gurfein & Preston Douglas are Lawyers with an Edge

At Gurfein Douglas LLP, you can rely on our scientific and engineering knowledge and years of experience to uncover the story that the untrained eye might miss. In this wrongful death case suing the hospital for wrongful death took an understanding of multiple types of negligence and failure to meet a standard of care. If you or a loved one is severely injured or has died, are your: Richard Gurfein and Preston Douglas Lawyers With An Edge.

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