Unanimous Defense Verdict Awarded in Hard Fought Medical Malpractice Case

Reconstructive and Medical Animations Explain Complex Cardiac Rupture

A young woman was driving while intoxicated, and without wearing a seatbelt, when she hit a light pole at approximately 35-40 MPH. Her chest was crushed against the airbag as it deployed, resulting in a 2-inch tear in her heart. The victim was rushed to the closest hospital and received expert care from everyone; including the emergency room doctor, anesthesiologist, and cardiothoracic surgeon, who worked to repair the damage. Despite their best efforts, the young woman passed away from a brain injury caused by this cardiac laceration. Attorneys Cory Tyszka, of Jones, Skelton & Hochuli, P.L.C., and Jim Goodwin, of J. Goodwin Law, PLLC, had to explain the severity of the injury and how it was not survivable, as well as her culpability in the accident, to the jury. A unanimous defense verdict in favor of all the defendants was returned in this case.

For both Attorneys Tyszka and Goodwin, this was their first experience working with DK Global. Ms. Tyszka was representing the cardiothoracic surgeon who performed open heart surgery on the young woman to repair the tear in her heart, and Mr. Goodwin represented the anesthesiologist who worked alongside the surgeon. They had the extremely difficult tasks of proving that no one could have known the extent of the injury prior to the surgery commencing and that it was impossible to fix the hole in her heart due to its location. The pericardial sac had filled with blood, causing her heart to lose the ability to beat. During the operation, two liters of blood immediately spilled onto the floor once her chest was opened. As a result, the young woman suffered a brain injury and had to eventually be removed from life support. Both attorneys used expert witnesses in each of their client’s standard of care. DK Global understood the anatomy and was able to speak the language of these doctors to determine the most effective way to illustrate how the crash caused the injury and the filling of the pericardial sac compressed the heart, preventing it from functioning properly. Our team was also able to emphasize the traumatic nature of the accident, despite the only outward injuries the deceased suffered being a broken femur and scalp contusions. Attorneys Tyszka and Goodwin faced another hurdle in deciding how to split the animation into two parts, and we were able to effectively create two presentations, ensuring that one would be admissible. Ultimately, they were able to use both animations in front of the jury, which helped to secure the unanimous defense verdict for their clients.

Cory Tyszka focuses on medical malpractice and health care liability defense, products liability, and wrongful death and personal injury defense. She represents all manner of medical service providers—including hospitals, physicians and nurses—as well as pharmaceutical and supplement manufacturers. Jim Goodwin primarily handles medical malpractice, product liability, and catastrophic injury case.  Throughout his career, Mr. Goodwin has managed litigation involving nearly every branch of the healthcare profession.  With over 20 years of experience as a litigator, he has successfully taken over 50 jury trials to verdict.

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"This animation clearly explains to the jury how the defendants performed at the highest standards of care to repair a catastrophic injury, the severity of which they could not have foreseen prior to the operation."


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