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Case of the Month

West's® Jury Verdicts - Arizona Reports

Patient suffered severe injuries because defendants allegedly failed to appreciate the severity of her respiratory difficulties

Clifford vs. U.S.A.

Type of Case:
Medical Malpractice - Government-Run Health or Social Services


Specific Liability:
Defendant's employees breached the standard of care

General Injury:
Brain Damage: Severe
Quadriplegia: Total; Visual Impairment; General Dysfunction

Jurisdiction:
State: Arizona
Court: United States District Court, D. Arizona.

Related Court Documents:
Plaintiff's complaint: 2015 WL 13665915

Case Name:
Clifford vs. U.S.A.

Docket/File Number:
2:15CV00503

Result:
Plaintiff, $8,000,000



Result Date:
November 20, 2017

Judge:
Roslyn Silver

Attorneys:
Plaintiff: John Curtin, Robbins & Curtin P.L.L.C., Phoenix, AZ
Defendant: Robert T. Sharp, Scottsdale, AZ
Defendant: Peter Kozinets, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Phoenix, AZ
Defendant: Anne Nelson, Assistant U.S. Atorney, Phoenix, AZ

Result Type:
Settlement

Experts:
Plaintiffs: Not reported.
Defendants: Not reported.

Breakdown of Result:
Total Compensatory Award: $8,000,000
Comparative Negligence Percentage: 0

Summary of Facts:
Susan Clifford, an adult female medical patient, reportedly suffered severe quadriparesis, cortical blindness, permanent brain injury and diminished pulmonary function when an acute bronchial spasm occurred as the result of a panic attack during an attempt to switch her from a venti-mask to a nasal cannula at a VA hospital managed by defendant United States of America. The plaintiff contended that the defendant's employees breached the standard of care by failing to appreciate the severity of her respiratory difficulties, failing to provide intervention by a trained code team or a rapid response team, and delaying oxygen saturations for 44 minutes. The defendant denied causation and attributed the injury to posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome.

Court: United States District Court, D. Arizona.

Westlaw Citation:
2017 WL 7789779


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