William S. Spiegel obtained a unanimous defense verdict in a professional liability case where the New York Supreme Court made the rare decision to allow a jury to consider a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) claim. The plaintiff’s injuries allegedly consisted of severe swelling of the face, neck and chest and a subcutaneous emphysema that allegedly affected the plaintiff’s heart and airways. After just two hours of deliberation, the jury accepted Mr. Spiegel’s argument that the oral surgeon did not deviate from the standard of care. The plaintiff’s counsel’s request of $3.8 million in damages was denied.
As Mr. Spiegel noted, “to have a claim of severe PTSD as a viable element of medical malpractice is rare. In this case, it was supported by credible evidence and thus laid the foundation for a potentially very high plaintiff’s verdict.” Despite the possibility of a substantial verdict due to a PTSD claim that was bolstered and supported by a psychiatric expert, the jury accepted the testimony of a key defense witness who formerly served as the Chair of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Medicine at Brooklyn Hospital.
William S. Spiegel is a partner in the New York City office of Rawle & Henderson, LLP, and can be reached at (212)-323-7075 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.