On August 25, 2020, Blair County, PA, attorneys Brendan Lupetin and Greg Unatin received a $10.8 million-dollar verdict for their clients in a medical malpractice case. The plaintiff suffered life altering brain damage after being given medication for an MRI that caused an allergic reaction that sent him into cardiac arrest. The hospital not only failed to respond to the plaintiff’s allergic reaction in a timely manner, they further failed to outfit the MRI room the plaintiff was in with an emergency drug box, which should have been present per the hospital’s own policy. The client had a heart attack due to the allergic reaction and because of that suffered an anoxic/diffuse brain injury that damaged the frontal and temporal lobes of his brain before he was resuscitated.
The client now requires full-time care due to the damage to his frontal and temporal lobes. The plaintiff sought to recover $310,000 in past medical costs, $1.5 million in future lost wages, and approximately $6.5 million in future medical costs plus damages for past and future pain and suffering. Plaintiffs’ attorney Brendan Lupetin shared with us strategies from Trial by Human, Voir Dire and Opening Statements, and Nick’s recorded lectures that he used to win the case:
- Staying measured in my opening statement and not over-promising or trying to put too much into the opening.
- Connecting with our clients. We spent a lot of time at their home (masked up of course) talking with them and sharing dinner with them to help feel what it’s like to walk in their shoes. This helped us pick up on the subtle but significant deficits of our brain injured client and the impact his injury has on his family. By being in the home we saw things that made for great damages exhibits (like a chore list for our adult client that looked like something you’d use for a little kid) that the family had no idea were significant. We also were able to see how our client’s caretaker interacted with him.
- In closing, I utilized Nick’s arguments about our constitutional rights (life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness) and how they tie into damages. I used the fair-trade value argument in combination with the “man at the door” argument to explain that there is no amount of money in the world our client would have taken in exchange for the damages. We also spent a lot of time thinking about our client’s injuries from their POV… golden ruling ourselves to help convey the loss.