The following is a broad sampling of cases litigated, settled or taken to arbitration or trial by the Rodriguez Law Firm or by Mr. Rodriguez. Also, it is important to know that all cases turn on their own facts and circumstances including the strength of the liability and personal aspects of the case. All cases must be evaluated in light of what a jury is likely to award to determine whether a case is best taken before a jury or settled.
In addition to the detailed sampling of cases below, Mr. Rodriguez has also litigated cases that involved:
=> Dog attacks
=> Misdiagnosis breast & uterine cancer
=> Misdiagnosis of lung cancer
=> Botched breast implants
=> Negligent cateract surgery
=> Failure to provide informed consent
=> Negligent Radial Keratotomy (RK)
=> Misdiagnosed fractures
Angels of Justice: Courthouse Door Bisbee, AZ
Medical Negligence/Hypoxic Brain Injury: A 60 year old male, post cardiac valve replacement surgery was taken to the cardiac ICU. The anesthesiologist left the operating suite and had left the hospital leaving a resident to escort the patient to the ICU. On arrival to the cardiac ICU, the resident could not figure out how to get the ventilator working to replace the Ambu bag he had been using on his way to the ICU. Patient was deprived of oxygen for approximately five minutes, possibly longer, and suffered irreversible brain damage. Hospital agreed to mediation, legislative approval was necessary, matter settled for$5.5 million.
A 51 year old welder, working at a fuel depot was repairing pipelines. Fuel was negligently left in the pipeline, causing an explosion which threw the welder into a ditch, breaking his hip. The matter settled on the first day of trial for$750,000.
22-year-old male presented to the dentist with pain in his lower pre-molar. Dentist diagnosed abscess. Dentist then advised he needed a root canal now, which is the proper treatment for an abscessed tooth. However, patient was on ACCCHS. Dentist said if you have cash or credit card I can perform the root canal otherwise we have to wait for ACCCHS authorization. Patient had no cash or credit card and had to wait. In the meantime the dentist negligently failed to prescribe antibiotics and his infection spread to his brain causing irreparable nerve damage to portions of his face and and paralysis of the tongue. Case settled inmid-six figures.
Radiologist failed to see breast tumor on mammogram. After eight months, this patient changed primary care doctors and at that time another mammogram was taken in the tumor was detected but had doubled in size and was in at least one lymph node by then. At that time, a lumpectomy was the longer an option and the patient underwent a mastectomy and a more prolonged course of radiation and chemotherapy. The radiologist admitted liability, case settled with covenant not to disclose the terms.
Wrongful Death / Murder / Inadequate Security: A 65 year old man was shot and killed while on his way to mail letters at his apartment complex when he heard a young woman yelling for help, and being chased by a man with a handgun. Plaintiff tried to stop the man and was shot. The Defendant pleaded guilty to murder. The decedent was survived by his wife and minor child, as well as three adult children, who brought suit against the apartment for negligent security, and against the killer. Non-disclosure regarding apartment, and following a one day trial on damages, the court awarded Plaintiffs $2 million compensatory damages, and $1 million punitive damages.
Foreign Object in Food: A 58 year old female attending a convention at Embassy Suites was served sherbet ice cream with a small piece of glass in it. The Plaintiff bit the glass and experienced pain and bleeding on the right side of her mouth. Two months later she developed the rare disorder of Leukoplakia in the same area of the injury. The Defense Expert argued the Leukoplakia was not related to the chewing on glass incident. The jury verdict was$50,000.
Medical Malpractice / Loss of Leg: Plaintiff was a 39 year old employed by Honeywell Security who underwent repair of a lumbar herniated disc with vertebral fusion. The fusion failed, requiring a second surgery which left the Plaintiff with chronic leg and groin pain. Plaintiff consulted another Orthopedic Surgeon who opined a third surgery might alleviate the pain. Plaintiff alleged that during the third and unreasonably risky surgery veins and nerves were traumatized resulting in RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy). The Plaintiff's leg permanently swelled to 3-4 times its normal size and had to be amputated. Matter settled before trial with a covenant not to disclose the settlement amount.
Medical Malpractice / Failure to Diagnose: A cactus thorn was embedded in a 7 year old's knee. The Plaintiff's mother took him to the Emergency Room and explained that the child had fallen near a barrel cactus two days earlier, and had since been complaining of pain and some redness. An x-ray revealed fluid in the knee but no foreign object. The child was released with a diagnosis of inflammation due to trauma: over the next month the child's knee continued to swell and be warm and painful. He was examined two separate times by an Orthopedic Specialist who told the mother to "wait and see" if the knee would get better. The knee did not get better and the mother took him back to the Emergency Room where he was examined by an E.R. doctor who recommended a CT scan, prescribed antibiotics, and recommended immediate follow-up with the Orthopedic Specialist for suspected foreign object and infection. The mother was told she could not see the Orthopedic Specialist for two weeks, so she took her child to Mexico where an ultrasound was performed showing what the doctor said was a cactus needle within the knee joint. Surgery was performed to remove a one-inch cactus needle and after a long period of rehabilitation the child suffered some permanent loss of motion in his knee joint. Settled at mediation for a significant amount not to be disclosed.
Motor Vehicle Accident: A 44 year old employed as a maintenance man at a local High School suffered a torn medial meniscus of the left knee when Defendant ran a red light while using his cell phone. Defense argued the knee injury was pre-existing and the accident too minor to cause that injury. Defendant insurance company offered $40,000. The Pinal County jury awarded $150,000.
Premises Liability / Defective Automatic Doors: Plaintiff was an elderly lady who required the assistance of a cane to walk; she entered a medical facility with automatic sliding doors. The doors closed prematurely knocking the Plaintiff backwards and causing a non-displaced fracture of her left femur. Plaintiff proved the medical facility knew that slow walkers had encountered this problem before and Plaintiff's Architecture / Safety expert established non-compliance with handicap codes for automatic doors. Settled for $85,000.
Motor Vehicle Accident / Low Impact Rear-End Collision: A 29 year old female school teacher who was rear-ended while stopped at a red light. Photographs showed no damage to the back of Plaintiff's vehicle. Plaintiff saw a chiropractor for complaints of headache and neck pain which persisted for 1 month. The Defendant offered to pay $500. in chiropractor bills, after a one day Jury trial, the Jury awarded $7,500.
Wrongful Death / Nursing Malpractice: A 40 year old single mother of two minor daughters. While hospitalized for a stroke, nurses negligently placed a feeding tube into her lung instead of her stomach, causing death by asphyxiation. (Settled for a significant amount, along with a stipulation that the hospital would create a training video on tube feeding, and make it mandatory to be viewed by all nurse assistants).
Wrongful Death / Medical Malpractice: A 47 year old male father of two minor children, divorced. Admitted to hospital for chest pain and gall stones. Because he complained of chest pain, an EKG was performed in the Emergency Room, which was grossly abnormal. The next morning, the surgeon took the patient to surgery for his gall stones without ever reading his EKG (or obtaining a cardiology consultation) which showed acute heart damage. During anesthetization, the patient died of a heart attack. Case settled with a covenant not to disclose settlement amount.
Wrongful Death / Medical Malpractice: A 43 year old county maintenance employee, father of three daughters, and husband to his high school sweetheart. He was diagnosed over the telephone by an emergency room nurse as having heat exhaustion. He was told to drink ice tea and rest under the air conditioner and if he didn't feel better to come to the hospital. Plaintiff died of a heart attack within two hours of the telephone call. Plaintiff's pretrial demand was $1.5 million. Settled on the 10th and final day of trial, during closing arguments, for a confidential amount.
Wrongful Death / Medical Malpractice: A 70 year old retired dentist, leaving behind his wife and 12 year old adopted son. While hospitalized for shortness of breath, Plaintiff suffered a heart attack that was untimely treated. The "two hour window of opportunity" to give TPA (Tissue Plasminogen Activator) a clot-busting medication, lapsed and the patient died. Settled on the first day of trial with covenant not to disclose amount.
Wrongful Death / Motor Vehicle Accident: A 60 year old wife and mother of three adult children, who died instantly when a drunk driver heading the wrong way down a state highway collided head-on with the decedent. Settled for insurance policy limits and stipulated judgment of $500,000.
Wrongful Death / Medical Malpractice: A 32 year old psychiatric patient died from suffocation while hospitalized when psych technicians and non-medically trained hospital security guards (Independent Contractors) restrained her by laying on her for 20 to 30 minutes. She was survived by her father. Settled with Security Guard Company for a confidential amount and for $100,000. from the county hospital. (See Tucson Daily Star Article).
Wrongful Death / Medical Malpractice: A three year old toddler untimely diagnosed with meningitis, who was taken to the hospital emergency room where he was improperly intubated and died. He was survived by his young parents. Settled with a non-disclosure agreement.
Wrongful Death / Nursing Malpractice: A four week old premature infant untimely diagnosed and treated for hyperbilirubinemia, (after failure to timely notify pediatrician of abnormal lab test values). Infant was survived by single mother. Hospital settled confidentially, without a lawsuit.
Wrongful Death / Medical Malpractice: A 27 year old single mother of three minor children. She died two days following a tubal ligation. Post operatively, she developed an infection, causing abdominal pain. She presented to the ER, but after observation for several hours, she was not treated, and discharged home, where she died the following day. Confidential structured settlements were negotiated for each of the minor children.
Wrongful Death / Motor Vehicle Accident: A 68 year old husband and father of three adult children (wife represented by another attorney) died instantly when an elderly driver lost control of his vehicle and drove into on-coming traffic, colliding head-on with decedent. Settled for insurance policy limits.
Wrongful Death / Psychiatric Negligence: A seriously mentally ill (SMI) patient still showing symptoms of paranoia and delusions, was prematurely discharged from the hospital into an inadequate, non-supervised, unlicensed bed and care home instead of an in-patient treatment facility. Plaintiff suffered a paranoid and delusional crisis event, and died in an altercation with the police the day after discharge. Decedent was survived by his wife, two minor children, and his mother. Settled at an early mediation with a covenant not to disclose the names or amounts.
Wrongful Death / Medical Malpractice: A 23 year old single female who died as a result of an unsupervised application of a toxic/lethal dose of topical anesthetic applied to both of her legs and wrapped in plastic in preparation for laser hair removal. Decedent was survived by her mother. The treating physician who operated the laser hair removal clinic, and the compounding pharmacy which provided the topical anesthetic, were sued; both settled with covenants not to disclose settlement amounts.
Wrongful Death / Medical Malpractice: The death of an unborn, pre-term fetus. Plaintiff was a 31 year old mother of four minor children, eight months pregnant. Plaintiff had history of late stage gestational diabetes, and presented to Kino Hospital complaining that she hadn't felt the child move. Her baby showed signs of fetal distress via ultrasound and fetal heart monitor. However, she was discharged and advised to go home, drink cold orange juice, and if she didn't feel fetal movement, to return to the hospital. The Plaintiff did as instructed, felt no movement and returned to the hospital, where she was told the baby had died. Plaintiff sued on the theory of untimely C-section, failure to recognize fetal distress. Settled with covenant not to disclose the settlement amount.
Medical Malpractice / Botched Hiatal Hernia Repair:
A 55 year old married woman, mother of three underwent a re-do of a previous hiatal hernia repair. The surgeon was a temporary contract doctor employed part-time in a rural part of Arizona. As a result of a very bizarre repair, this lovely lady lost her stomach in its entirety and her digestive anatomy was significantly altered. Her medical bills were $1 million. After two years of contentious litigation, this case settled the week before trial in Sept. 2016. The settlement was strictly confidential.
Medical Malpractice /Negligent Abdominal Hernia Repair /Failure to Observe & Report Symptoms of Peritonitis A 42 year old roofer, husband and father of three, underwent hernia repair. During the second post-op day the internal sutures "popped" apart making them like piano wires against the bowel. The patient's bowel perforated and contaminated the muscles of his abdominal wall. A second and third surgery were necessary to repair the extensive damage, leaving the patient with a large portion of his abdominal wall excised (removed) and replaced by synthetic mesh. The Plaintiff was left severely limited in his life activities. The matter settled two days prior to trial with the surgeon and the hospital, with a covenant not to disclose the settlement amount.
Medical Malpractice / Negligent Positioning Injury During Surgery (Gila County): A 32 year old single mother of a 2 year old child underwent hemmorhoidectomy under general anesthesia. Patient was positioned on her left side upon the operating room table. During the procedure her right leg dangled off the table for an undetermined period of time, resulting in prolonged pressure to the side of the knee which caused Peroneal nerve damage. Post operatively the patient developed "drop foot". The operative records showed no incident during surgery, however, during the deposition of the anesthesiologist, he admitted seeing the patient's leg dangling off the table and did not know how long it had been off before a nurse repositioned and secured the leg with a surgical pillow and "bean bags". Matter settled at a judicial mediation for $185,000.
Insurance Bad Faith For almost a year the first party insurance company refused to pay policy limits on a case clearly in excess of those limits. Finally the insurance company sent a denial of coverage letter based on Texas law which had nothing to do with the Arizona statutes governing the case. A bad faith law suit was filed. Policy limits were $300,000. case settled for $760,000.
Insurance Bad Faith Plaintiff was injured while a passenger in Defendant's automobile. The Defendant driver's insurance company paid liability policy limits to Plaintiff, Plaintiff thereafter made an underinsured policy limit demand on the Defendant driver's policy. Defendant driver's insurance company denied coverage due to an exclusion in the policy. When the actual policy was reviewed, it was determined that no such provision existed. Bad faith claim followed. Policy limit $30,000., case settled for $460,000.