$30 Million Jury Verdict for Failure to Administer Anticoagulants

Maria Elena Fernandez, 71, fell and fractured her ankle. She was taken to a nearby hospital where she was met by orthopedist Dr. Charles Jordan who ordered Heparin, a blood thinner, to treat Fernandez’s risk of deep vein thrombosis. The doctor also ordered a compression boot to handle the fractured ankle.

Three days after that hospital admission, Dr. Jordan sent Fernandez to St. Anne’s Nursing Care & Residence with orders that she receive anticoagulants.

Despite this doctor order, Fernandez did not receive the anticoagulant medicine at St. Anne’s Nursing Care.

Nine days later, she returned to Dr. Jordan complaining of increased swelling around her ankle. The doctor recasted the ankle and made the decision not to perform surgery. However, Fernandez’s condition deteriorated over the next week and she remained at the nursing care facility. Dr. Jordan then ordered a chest x-ray and a consultation with an infectious disease physician.

Fernandez continued to decline, suffering shortness of breath and pneumonia. Dr. Francisco Cruz, the attending internist at St. Anne’s Nursing Care, ordered Robitussin as a remedy. That very same day, Fernandez suffered a saddle pulmonary embolism, which caused her death. She was survived by her husband and two adult children.

Fernandez’s estate sued Dr. Jordan, his employer, and Dr. Cruz, alleging they chose not to administer anticoagulants that Fernandez clearly required. The Fernandez family argued that Dr. Jordan had negligently sent Fernandez back to the rehabilitation facility, St. Anne’s Nursing Care, without anticoagulants and chose not to follow up on why she had not been receiving the medication while at the nursing facility.

The lawsuit also claimed that Dr. Cruz had failed to address Fernandez’s obvious worsening condition.
Dr. Cruz settled before trial for an undisclosed amount.

The jury in this case signed a verdict for $30 million, apportioning liability at 95% to Dr. Cruz and 5% to Dr. Jordan.

The attorneys successfully handling this tragic case were Gary A. Friedman, Zachary Friedman and John Seligman.

Fernandez v. Baptist Health Medical Group Orthopedics, LLC, No. 18-013104CA21 (Fla. Cir. Ct. Miami-Dade County).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling medical malpractice cases, orthopedic negligence cases, nursing home negligence cases, misdiagnosis of pulmonary embolism, and traumatic brain injury lawsuits for individuals, families and loved ones who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of a medical provider for more than 40 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Wheaton, Aurora, Joliet, Bolingbrook, Romeoville, Inverness, Itasca, Kenilworth, Mt. Prospect, Prospect Heights, Naperville, Wilmette, Evanston, Skokie, Schaumburg, Schiller Park, Chicago (Hyde Park, South Shore, Near North Side, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Logan Square, Little Village, Little Italy, Greek Town, Greater Grand Crossing, Calumet Heights, Pullman, Washington Heights, Garfield Ridge), Western Springs, Countryside, Willow Springs, Bridgeview, Berwyn, Melrose Park, Franklin Park, Wood Dale, Elk Grove Village, Hoffman Estates and Arlington Heights, Ill.

Robert D. Kreisman has been an active member of the Illinois and Missouri bars since 1976.

Related blog posts:

$12 Million Jury Verdict for Wrongful Death and Medical Negligence in Failure to Diagnose and Treat Deep Vein Thrombosis

$1.8 Million Wrongful Death Settlement for Failure to Diagnose Pulmonary Embolism

$1 Million Settlement Reached in Failure to Continue Anticoagulant