Volume IV, 1997-1998

Volume IV, 1997-1998

Psychiatric Malpractice Claim Partially Resolved for $500,000.00

Mr. G was a 74 year old depressed man reaching out for help. Mr. G never had any significant prior episodes of depression and was unaware of the seriousness of his condition. He was also unaware of the treatment that was needed or available to him.

Mr. G sought psychiatric help from a local Psychiatric Group. The initial evaluation indicated that Mr. G had serious psychiatric problems and the original diagnosis was to rule out suicidal ideations.

Despite the serious nature of the diagnosis, the Psychiatric Group sent Mr. G home and failed to properly render care and treatment to him. The negligent handling of Mr. G’s case continued for several months until it was too late.

In January 1995, Mr. G advised his treating physicians that he had suicidal ideations and that he could not control them. Mr. G was admitted to the hospital without proper admission orders. Due to his depression, which was improperly treated, Mr. G poked his eyes with his fingers, resulting in permanent blindness. This horrible incident could have been prevented had Mr. G been properly diagnosed, treated and cared for by the Psychiatric Group.

After extensive litigation, Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. was able to partially resolve the claim for $500,000.00. The case against the Psychiatric Group is set for trial in the near future. Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. strongly believes in protecting the rights of elderly citizens. This case and other cases involving elderly clients will serve to make Florida safer for all elderly citizens.


Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. is pleased to announce that Mark Richard has joined their firm as “of Counsel”.

newsletter-iv-groupMark Richard is a 17 year veteran labor lawyer who has spent his entire legal career representing labor unions throughout Florida. Mark Richard explains that the union of these two firms will meet the needs of the thousands of employees he represents by expanding representation and protecting employees beyond issues of work, wage and working conditions. Mark states that “when the employees that I have represented for 17 years are injured, there is a great need for experienced personal injury lawyers such as Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. The lawyers at Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. are committed to their clients and committed to the protection and safety of Florida’s families.”

Included among Mark Richard’s clients are the unions that represent nurses at Jackson Memorial Hospital (SEIU), the County Transit employees (TWU), American Airlines ground personnel (TWU), Bellsouth Operation employees (CWA), as well as the South Florida AFL/CIO.

Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. continues to specialize in Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice, Products Liability, Nursing Home Neglect and all other negligence cases.

Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. Helping Florida’s Elderly

Settles Nursing Home Claim for $300,000

Carol LaBella was 85 years old in June of 1995 when she fractured her left humerus and was admitted to a Broward nursing home for rehabilitation. When she was discharged approximately eight months later, Carol was suffering from dehydration, sepsis, osteomyelitis, cellulitis, and had Stage IV decubitus skin ulcers.

Carol’s daughter, Cathy, was horrified. She did not believe there was any recourse, but on a suggestion of an acquaintance, called Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. In an effort to prevent this type of elderly abuse from reoccurring at this nursing home, Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. was asked to file suit.

Approximately one year later, the case was settled at mediation for $300,000.Most significantly, “the nursing home was forced to acknowledge that families do not have to tolerate this conscious indifference to the general health, safety, and welfare of our elderly community,” said David Sampedro.

Unfortunately, this is a scene much too common in many nursing homes around Florida. Brett Panter noted that on a larger scale, “the public as a whole benefits from these type of cases because they compel nursing homes to recognize that they have a responsibility in caring for our loved ones as their own families would.” Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. is committed to continuing to work to improve the quality of care at all nursing homes throughout Florida. This is just one way in which Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. is helping make Florida a safer place for all families.


Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. handled two automobile crash cases this quarter resulting in $200,000.00 worth of settlements for the clients.

The first claim involved a 38 year old man who was a passenger in a vehicle that was rear ended. Although the impact was minor, the collision aggravated Mr. Yarnell’s pre-existing back problem. Mr. Yarnell did not need surgery but was unable to work for several months. This case was resolved promptly and to the benefit of Mr. Yarnell.

The other automobile crash case involved Vickie Johnson, a school teacher for Dade County. Mrs. Johnson was traveling on Miami Beach to pick up one of her children from school when a negligent driver ran a stop sign causing Mrs. Johnson’s vehicle to overturn. Mrs. Johnson suffered scarring as a result of her car overturning and her arm dragging on the pavement. The case was settled based on the permanent scar on Mrs. Johnson’s elbow. Video depositions were taken to establish liability and this case was also settled promptly and to the satisfaction of Mrs. Johnson.

Both Mr. Yarnell and Mrs. Johnson were wearing their seat belts and, as a result, the injuries were less severe than they might have been.

RENOVATIONS COMPLETED AT Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A.

The renovations at Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. are complete. Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. would like to thank Ken Stern from Custom Video for his assistance in establishing a state of the art video conference center. Custom Video created a customized video recording and monitoring conference facility for Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. enabling them to produce state of the art quality video depositions and monitor those depositions throughout the office building. The Firm will also easily move into video teleconferencing in the near future. Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. continues to strive to use all of the current technology to the benefit of its clients.


Merline, a 12 year old girl, went to her pediatrician on July 15, 1996. She was complaining of chest pains and indigestion. The pediatrician failed to diagnose Merline for myocarditis.

The failure to diagnose Merline and treat the underlying condition had a fatal outcome for Merline.

Merline was negligently released, and within a few days, became very sick and had terrible chest pains. Merline’s parents called 911. Rescue transported her to the hospital. Unfortunately, it was too late and Merline passed away.

The Medical Examiner’s report determined that the cause of death was myocarditis, which is an inflammation of the heart and should have been detected and treated successfully.

Since the pediatrician had limited insurance coverage, Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. decided the best thing for Merline’s family was to get the case resolved as quickly as possible so as to lessen any further heartbreak that the family would have to experience as a result of the loss of their young child.

Under the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, a Proposal For Settlement was filed for the policy limits and, shortly thereafter, the case was settled for $240,000.00. Merline’s family did not have to undergo the emotional and economic cost of litigation because their case was settled quickly and efficiently. The family of this child was able to receive some compensation and have some sense of closure after this unfortunate event.

Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. extends its condolences to the family of this child and thanks them for allowing the Firm to represent the family’s interests.