Public Interest Cases
Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice cases are not only about benefiting the injured parties, obtaining answers for them and appropriate financial compensation,but also about achieving social justice which benefits us all. To quote Connecticut Supreme Court Justice Peter Zarella:
“The profession of law is not just a business. It transcends a mere occupation. It is a lifelong communal pursuit of justice.”
Justice Peter T. Zarella
Just like government must be accountable to have a free and fair society and its mistakes laid bare the same is true in our society’s private endeavors. Errors committed by Connecticut area hospitals, physicians, construction companies, manufacturers , Insurance companies as well as Companies who employ Connecticut workers must be held accountable where their actions cause harm and suffering. The natural inclination to deny any mistake or wrongdoing and defend is most often the predictable iniital response. Occasionally, active concealment and coverup is as well. Neither instinct when allowed by these Entities to become an ongoing legal strategy serves to assure justice to those injured or the rest of us. That behavior is injurious to our familes in the larger community and must not be tolerated. You may find below a number of active claims and cases which implicate some of these concerns and my firm has direct involvement in them. Some of the details and identities of those involved are intentionally left out due to privacy concerns as well as the fact that they are active matters. Some of these will no doubt end up being decided by a Connecticut Jury and fundamental considerations of fairness require discretion at this point. If you have a serious matter which may help improve safety for others in our community we would welcome your immediate contact.
1. LOCAL HOSPITAL WRONG SITE SURGERY AND COVERUP ALLEGED
Connecticut Hospital allows Surgeon who operates on Woman’s breast at the wrong site to re dictate operative note weeks later. Chief of surgery also tries to retrieve original content dictated note thought mailed to patient’s primary care physician. Defense is that the patient was in fact woken up during surgery and asked to consent to the removal of a different mass located after the original mass could not be found near the intended area of excision.
OUTCOME: Plaintiff’s Verdict which entered as a Judgment on February 26, 2013 on the issues of Negligence against the Surgeon, Lauren Rubino M.D. and Hospital, Eastern Connecticut Health Network which administers Manchester Memorial Hospital and Rockville Hospital in Vernon Ct. Jury also found that Dr. Rubino breached her Fiduciary Duty of honesty and loyalty to her patient.
2. LOCAL HOSPITAL-PATIENT OVERSEDATED
Patient is over sedated following routine surgery and nothing done to ascertain and correct the cause , goes into respiratory distress and subsequently dies. Defense is that patient was suicidal and may have ingested her own meds as well while under their care and supervision.
3. AUTOMOBILE – DANGEROUS PRODUCT DEFECT.
A Woman driving a Toyota traveling on the Meritt Parkway loses control of her vehicle and crashes due to a brake pedal malfunction
4. RECKLESS HIGHWAY DRIVING
Company involved in Middletown gas plant explosion is sued for the reckless conduct of one of its supervisor on the Highway
5. DUMP TRUCK – DANGEROUS PRODUCT DEFECT CAUSED BY LACK OF SAFETY GUARD AND CLEAR MAINTENANCE INSTRUCTIONS
State of Connecticut Department of Transportation Truck amputates the leg of a maintenance worker.
OUTCOME: Plaintiffs Verdict, Conclusion Date: November 1, 2011 3.6 million dollar substantially apportioned between manufacturer and distributor of the defective product
6. LOCAL HOSPITAL DISCHARGE OF UNSTABLE PATIENT
A disturbed young man whose family member calls the police on to prevent a threatened suicide is evaluated an released by a local 5. Connecticut Hopsital deemed not to be at risk in apparent violation of the applicable assessment criteria and kills himself within 24 hours
7. TOWN POLICE CHIEF FAILS TO ENFORCE MUNICIPAL ORDINANCE REQURING POLICE DETAIL FOR AFTER HOURS ESTABLISHMENTS IN HARTFORD AND MISHANDLE CROWD CONTROL FOLLOWING EARLIER SHOOTING RESULTING IN FATAL SHOOTING THIRTY MINUTES LATER
Thirty minutes after a gang related incident invovling a shooting at a night club after hours, a young man who was a chef just off duty getting a bite to eat at a local restaurant is fatally shot. The local municipality involved failed to order a curfew and crowd dispersion when twenty minutes before gang related shooting occured and a large noisy crowd had filled that local restaurant and police officers were standing outside and actually commenting to eachother that the place was overcrowded. When trouble started inside nobody could get out when trouble started beginning with verbal altercations and chairs being thrown.
8. ELDERLY NURSING HOME NEGLECT
Elderly Nursing/Rehabilitation home resident requiring a two person assist is moved by only one nurses aide, who lies about what happened in written note about the incident, fractures hip, has surgery and ultimately dies due to related complications. Family misses him terribly and is devastated.
OUTCOME: Confidential Settlement acceptable to the relatives of the Decedent approved by Connecticut Probate Court
9. INSURANCE COMPANY TACTICS
Insurance Company decides to deny claim and offer nuisance value settlement after the Decdent dies due to surgery related complications. Implicit theory of defense appears to be that since the Woman is no longer hear to testify what happened in the motor vehicle accident in the first place they may win the case outright.
10. INSURANCE COMPANY BAD FAITH
A young couple with small children take out life insurance policies to protect their family and the Husband dies prior to the issuance of the policy but after it was bound. Wife told that claim will be honored but it isn’t. In the meantime, the agent tells her story as a sales tool to others in the community and co workers and it gets back to her that she supposedly got the policy settlement and has money.
11. INJURED BUS PASSENGERS CAN SUE CT TRANSIT BUS COMPANY FOR NEGLIGENCE BUT NOT FOR UNINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE SAYS THE CT SUPREME COURT
Case Conclusion Date: January 1, 2004
Practice Area: Personal Injury
Outcome: Favorable Trial Court Decision, Reversed by Connecticut Supreme Court
Description: 272 Conn. 81 (Conn. 2004) 861 A.2d 1160 Constance GORDON v. H.N.S. MANAGEMENT COMPANY, Inc. Granville Downs et al. v. H.N.S. Management Company, Inc. No. 17139. Supreme Court of Connecticut December 21, 2004 Argued Sept. 20, 2004. [861 A.2d 1161] [861 A.2d 1162] Page 82 Richard C. Mahoney, with whom, on the brief, was Dennis F. McCarthy, Hartford, for the appellant (defendant). Paul S. Levin, Hartford, with whom was Jefferson D. Jelly, for the appellees (plaintiffs in both cases). SULLIVAN C.J., and BORDEN, KATZ, VERTEFEUILLE and ZARELLA, Js. SULLIVAN, C.J. The defendant, H.N.S. Management Company, Inc., doing business as Connecticut Transit, appeals from the trial court’s rulings that: (1) the claims of the plaintiffs, Constance Gordon and Granville Downs,  that the defendant was required by General Statutes §§ 14-29  and 38a-  Page 83 to purchase uninsured and underinsured [861 A.2d 1163] motorist insurance for the buses that it operated pursuant to contracts with the state were not barred by the doctrine of sovereign immunity; and (2) as a matter of statutory interpretation, a motor bus is a type of motor vehicle subject to the uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance provisions of the statutes. We conclude that the trial court improperly determined that the defendant was not entitled to raise sovereign immunity as a defense to the plaintiffs’ claims. We further conclude that the state has not waived its sovereign immunity with respect to such claims. Accordingly, we need not consider the defendant’s second claim on appeal.  The record reveals the following facts and procedural history. Each plaintiff brought a separate action. In the Gordon case, the parties stipulated that Gordon was a passenger on a bus operated by the defendant in the city of Hartford on April 24, 1996. They further stipulated that she was injured when the driver of an unidentified motor vehicle cut in front of the bus and forced the bus driver to brake abruptly, thereby causing Gordon to fall. Gordon claimed that she was entitled to recover uninsured motorist benefits from the defendant pursuant to General Statutes § 38a-334 et seq. Page 84 In the Downs case, Downs alleged that he was driving a bus operated by the defendant in the city of East Hartford on August 23, 1995. He further alleged that he was injured when a motor vehicle, driven by Steven Grant, collided with the bus. Downs claimed that he had exhausted the insurance coverage available to Grant and was entitled to recover underinsured motorist benefits from the defendant. In his amended complaint, he sought a judgment declaring that the defendant had an obligation to provide underinsured motorist coverage pursuant to §§ 14-29 and 38a-336(f). In each case, the defendant claimed as a special defense that the plaintiff’s claim was barred by the doctrine of sovereign immunity. After the cases were consolidated for trial, the court held a hearing on the sovereign immunity issue on December 18, 2001.  At that hearing, the defendant argued that it was entitled to assert a sovereign immunity defense under the criteria set forth in Dolnack v. Metro-North Commuter Railroad Co., 33 Conn.App. 832, 639 A.2d 530 (1994).
12. CT APPELLATE COURT UPHOLDS MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE VERDICT DELIVERED IN WATERBURY SUPERIOR COURT
Joanne TORNAQUINDICI et al.
John M. KEGGI et al.
Court of Appeals of Connecticut.
April 18, 2006.
Argued Oct. 19, 2005
[894 A.2d 1020] [Copyrighted Material Omitted]
[894 A.2d 1021] [Copyrighted Material Omitted]
[894 A.2d 1022] Augustus R. Southworth III, Waterbury, with whom, on the brief, was Isabella S. Murray, for the appellants (named defendant et al.). Hope C. Seeley, Hartford, with whom was Sandra L. Snaden, for the appellee (named plaintiff). BISHOP DiPENTIMA and BERDON, Js.
This appeal calls on us to resolve a number of issues arising out of the jury trial of an action for medical malpractice brought by the plaintiff Joanne.