Jun 12th, 2024

FKB Partners Patrick Brennan and Ita Parnass Secured a Unanimous Defense Verdict Following a 4-week Trial in the Southern District of New York

FKB partners Patrick Brennan and Ita Parnass secured a unanimous defense verdict following a 4-week trial in the Southern District of New York . Our client was  a  local hospital accused of medical malpractice leading to the death of a 29 year old patient. The trial also included allegations of civil rights violations, negligence and intentional torts against NYPD police officers. The case concerned a man taken into police custody for agitated delirium following apparent use of K-2 synthetic marijuana. During the encounter, the man barricaded himself in a room and violently banged on the walls and door, made threats of violence, and acted erratically, before entry was forced and he was physically restrained by the officers. At the hospital, he was agitated and combative and tried to bite hospital staff. While he was being assessed, attempts at de-escalation were made to quell his agitation. After a sedative was prepared, his breathing changed and he quickly became unresponsive, and went into cardiac arrest. Efforts to revive him were not successful and he was pronounced dead.

Plaintiff’s expert alleged that the decedent should have been treated with immediate sedation, but the jury credited the hospital’s evidence from 3 staff members and an emergency medicine expert that immediate sedation without a proper history and assessment could have been dangerous to the patient, depending on the cause of his agitation, and that his cardiac arrest 20 minutes after arrival would not have been prevented by sedative administration earlier. The medical examiner ruled the death accidental, due to probable intoxication with synthetic marijuana.