Volume VII, 2000
$6,800,000 Settlement for Young Boy
Ms. Lopez came to Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. after going through a traumatic child birth experience. Ms. Lopez was only 23 years old and 22 weeks into her pregnancy when she experienced bleeding. After being examined at the hospital, it was discovered that her baby had a prolapsed cord and an emergency cesarean section was needed. After a delay in the delivery the baby was born with very serious brain injuries and had severe neurological problems.
Brett Panter argued that the injuries were caused during birth. The attorneys for the doctors and the hospital argued that the terrible problems were unfortunate results attributed to the baby’s premature birth. It is common for many premature babies to have brain injury and neurological problems.
Baby Brayan needs daily attendant care and in all likelihood will continue to need attendant care for the remainder of his life. Brett Panter contacted some of the most knowledgeable obstetricians to consult with as experts in this case. Fortunately for this young boy and his family, the case was able to be settled. The settlement proceeds were put into what is known as a “Special Needs Trust” for the young boy who was three years old at the time of the settlement. Should Baby Brayan live a normal life expectancy, the settlement proceeds will exceed $6,800,000.00.
The mother of this young boy was extremely thankful to Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. for everything we were able to do for her. We only wish we could have done more than get financial help for this young boy. We continue to fight for the rights of all our clients.
Undetected Pulmonary Embolism Kills 57 Year Old Man
John Haeberli was only 57 years old when he underwent a total hip replacement. Mr. Haeberli was married to Lois Haeberli for almost 30 years and was survived by two adult children. Since his death, a grandchild was born. After John’s hip replacement he went to an emergency room complaining of shortness of breath and informed the doctors at the emergency room that he had a fainting episode at home. He died at the hospital as a result of a pulmonary embolism.
This case was brought against several different hospitals and treating doctors. The first hospital should have given John medicines to prevent embolisms known as thromboembolism prophylaxis. The treating doctor didn’t respond to John’s complaints of swelling in the leg the day prior to his death and the hospital where John died failed to do a VQ lung scan which is an important test that can help diagnose a pulmonary embolism.
This case was settled for $450,000.00. This settlement will provide some solace to Mr. Haeberli’s wife and financial security for her future.
This family will never replace their beloved husband and father. It is our hope that these types of claims will ultimately benefit others so they don’t have to die needlessly and so they get the proper medical attention both prior to and after surgery.
Panter & Panter adds Sampedro as Partner
The law firm of Panter & Panter, P.A. began when Mitchell Panter joined his brother Brett Panter in 1990. David Sampedro joined the law firm of Panter & Panter as an associate in 1996. Mr. Sampedro has been a dedicated associate with the firm for five years and as a result of his dedication and commitment the firm is now known as Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. Brett Panter, the founding partner of Panter & Panter, states “We are proud to change the name of our firm to add David. We feel he deserves this recognition and we are confident he will continue to help us maintain the highest degree of respect and dignity within the legal community and the community at large.”
92 Year Old Man Recovers $500,000 for the Loss of His Soul Mate
General Proctor was 91 when his wife, Elnora Proctor, was admitted to a hospital in Dade County at the age of 76. When Elnora went to the hospital she was unable to turn and reposition herself because of her medical condition. Within ten days of her hospitalization she was found to have severe life threatening decubitus ulcers which are commonly known as bed sores. Brett Panter sought both compensatory and punitive damages against the hospital for their gross neglect of Elnora Proctor.
Elnora was transferred out of the hospital with a diagnosis of malnutrition and a large grave Stage IV decubitus ulcer. This is the worst possible ulcer a human being can get. Elnora died on November 14, 2000.
Brett Panter consulted with the most experienced and credentialed experts to review this matter who testified that the infected pressure ulcers directly contributed to Elnora’s death.
Even though General Proctor was 92 years old, Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. took on the challenge and thought it was important that even the eldest of our citizens receive justice. Elnora Proctor suffered a death without dignity and we hope that this lawsuit will let hospitals know that even the eldest of our citizens need to be given attention and proper medical care when they are hospitalized.
This case was settled after all the depositions and testimony were taken, only hours before trial for a lump sum payment in the amount of $500,000.00.
PP&S—Working with Lawyers throughout Florida
Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. represents clients throughout the state of Florida. Brett Panter is a pilot with 25 years experience, and over 1,000 flight hours. The firm uses Brett’s twin engine Aztec to travel to various parts of the state to represent its clients. The firm has recently utilized Brett’s skills as a pilot to travel to places such as Bartow, Ft. Myers, Jacksonville, Key West, Lakeland, Naples, Orlando, Tallahassee, Tampa, and Vero Beach. Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. is often requested by attorneys throughout Florida to assist in complex and catastrophic injury cases. The firm honors state guidelines regarding participation fees with referring counsel.
The Truth about Medical Malpractice
The lawyers and staff at Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. feel we must set the record straight by educating everyone on the truth about medical malpractice and rising insurance rates.
Rising insurance rates are a result of insurance companies losing money in a declining stock market and significant medical errors, not high jury awards. We believe the real solution is that doctors and hospitals need to focus on patient safety and improve the quality of care.
Medical errors kill between 44,000 and 98,000 Americans every year. More people die from medical malpractice than automobile accidents, breast cancer and AIDS. A Harvard study found that one out of every 200 people admitted to a hospital died because of a medical mistake. One in eight patients suffer serious injuries and one in 25 patients with negligent injuries never receive compensation.
Restrictions on victims’ rights will not lower insurance premiums. The research on the impact of tort restrictions have shown that there is no correlation between tort restriction and medical malpractice premiums. California has the most restrictive malpractice caps in the country and they saw malpractice premiums rise by 37% between 1988 and 1998. During the same period Florida malpractice premiums went down by 17%.
One of the solutions is that good doctors should not be forced to pay as much in premiums as those who have had numerous claims against them. It makes no sense for all doctors to be paying the same rates, especially the ones who have never had a claim. A rating system should be applied such like the ones that exist in the automobile insurance industry rewarding safe drivers by requiring them to pay less in premiums than bad drivers.
As a law firm that cares about patient safety and quality of care, we urge you to participate in the legislative process and pay close attention to what your elected officials are doing in Tallahassee. Request that your elected officials focus on legislation that will result in better quality of care and better patient safety rather than taking away the fundamental rights of victims of medical negligence.