A Florida woman who suffered permanent brain injuries after a 2006 medical procedure has been awarded $23 million by an Alachua County jury. The six-person panel found that medical malpractice by the University of Florida’s Shands Teaching Hospital led to Lanette Gervato’s severe disability.
Gervato, who was represented by Miami medical malpractice lawyers Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen, suffered brain damage that has paralyzed her on one side, impaired her vision, and caused a variety of other medical problems.
“I think it makes a statement that the people in Gainesville are going to deliver justice,” said Stuart Grossman, one of the Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen medical malpractice lawyers who represented Gervato, her husband and their four children.
In July 2006, when Gervato was 35, she was suffering from unexplained headaches and other symptoms and went to Shands for treatment. Tests found a non-bleeding aneurysm in her brain, and a Shands neurosurgeon performed surgery in which coils were inserted into the aneurysm.
But according to Gervato’s medical malpractice lawyers, the surgical team unknowingly perforated one of the arteries in her brain during the procedure. From there, they say, errors continued, leading to the tragic outcome.
In one subsequent error, Gervato, who had been put on a blood-thinning medication called Heparin, displayed symptoms consistent with a post-operative stroke, according to the medical malpractice lawsuit subsequently filed by her Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen lawyers. The suit contended that a nurse, observed the symptoms, but the nurse nonetheless continued the medication.
By the time doctors discovered the problem following a longer-than-reasonable delay, according to the lawsuit, Gervato’s brain was filled with blood and significant brain damage had occurred.
Gary Cohen, one of Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen’s Miami medical malpractice lawyers representing Gervato, said the complications are irreversible.
“Her life has been ruined…devastated beyond repair,” said the Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen medical malpractice lawyer. “The injuries she has are completely permanent; there’s not going to be any hope for her getting any better.”
The visiting nurse employed through Intelistaf Healthcare Inc. settled for $1 million prior to the trial.
Since the surgery, Gervato has been hospitalized 10 times for various infections, according to Grossman. The Miami medical malpractice lawyer said that brain damage affects Gervato’s reasoning and causes persistent pain. It has also forced her husband to stop working in order to provide constant care. Most damaging of all, Gervato’s children have had to be placed with other family members.
The court victory was bittersweet for the woman and her family. Grossman says the jury’s award would enable Gervato’s family to pay for round-the-clock care allowing them, the Miami medical malpractice lawyer noted, “to return to as much normalcy as possible.”