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Unanimous Defense Verdict Awarded to Surgeon in Medical Malpractice Case

It may have been a night like any other when the young woman got into her car to drive home - but because she was intoxicated when she got behind the wheel, the night ended in the worst of tragedies. When the young woman crashed her car into a light pole at about 40 MPH, she was not wearing a seatbelt - and her chest was crushed against the airbag as it deployed, causing a 2-inch tear in her heart. She was immediately rushed to the closest hospital where the emergency room doctor, anesthesiologist, and cardiothoracic surgeon worked quickly and urgently to try to repair the damage.

Even though the emergency medical staff sprang to work immediately to save the young woman's life, the unfortunate truth was that the damage was already too extensive. When they opened her chest to attempt a life-saving surgery on her torn heart, two liters of blood spilled onto the floor from the young woman's chest, leaving her with such a severe brain injury that her family decided to remove her from life support.

Soon after this incident, a complaint was filed against the treating doctors for failing to save the woman’s life, at which point attorneys Cory Tyszka, of Jones, Skelton & Hochuli, P.L.C., and Jim Goodwin, of J. Goodwin Law, PLLC, quickly came to the doctors' aid.

Untangling Complex Medical Procedures and Circumstances Through Animation

Tyszka represented the cardiothoracic surgeon who performed the open-heart surgery, and Goodwin represented the anesthesiologist. Tyszka and Goodwin had the difficult task of proving that no one could have known the extent of the injury prior to the commencement of the surgery - and that it would have been impossible for anyone to fix the hole in this young woman's heart.

To give the jurors context of the incident, the attorneys worked with DK Global to create an accident reconstruction animation that would show the severity of the collision, the woman’s culpability, and how the events of that night led to an unfortunate - but ultimately unavoidable - fatality.

With the help of these animations, the jury returned a unanimous defense verdict in favor of Tyszka’s and Goodwin’s clients.

Cory Tyszka focuses on medical malpractice and healthcare liability defense, products liability, wrongful death and personal injury defense. She represents 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 cases. 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.

"The whole team truly made the whole process very easy and streamlined. And then the end result... the animation product was so well made. I was just so impressed with the whole process!"
Cory Tyszka - Jones, Skelton & Hochuli, P.L.C.
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