Trial Results

In November 2023, Megan Pimentel obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a breast surgeon and hospital after a 6 day Suffolk Superior Court jury trial. The Plaintiff alleged that the Defendant breast surgeon negligently failed to remove a portion of a localizing wire following a breast biopsy, requiring two additional procedures and causing physical and emotional injury. After 6 days of trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the Defendants after 1 ½ hours of deliberation.

In June 2023, Ellen Cohen and Sarah Doucett obtained summary judgment, along with the other defendants, in a wrongful life case. The decision will be helpful in limiting, under Massachusetts law, what types of damages are compensable -and more importantly those that are not – under this theory of liability. The case at hand involved the implantation of two embryos where the plaintiff wanted her surrogate to have only one embryo implanted; two healthy babies were born. The summary judgment decision clearly sets out the very specific criteria that one is required to meet in order to bring and recover in a claim for wrongful life in this state. These claims are very narrowly tailored in Massachusetts, and require showing that the decision was financially based, the patient underwent a sterilization procedure, the plaintiff had taken on added risk in pregnancy, the child had genetic defects, there was concern for the mother’s health in childbirth, and/or that the child was born unhealthy. This summary judgment decision will have impact in other wrongful life fact patterns, including pregnancy that follows failed vasectomy or tubal ligation.

In May 2023, Michael Barkley and Sarah Doucett obtained a defense verdict on behalf of their client, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon, following a 9 day jury trial in Suffolk Superior Court.  The Plaintiff alleged that the Defendant injured the radial sensory nerve in her hand during a surgical procedure to repair an injured tendon in the hand, and further that the Defendant was negligent during two follow-up visits, allegedly resulting in the development of complex regional pain syndrome.  The jury returned a verdict in favor of the Defendant after approximately 2 hours of deliberations.

In May 2023, Ellen Cohen and Mary Azzarito obtained a defense verdict for a gyn oncologist after only two hours of deliberations in a Suffolk Superior Court jury trial involving a patient death from complications following bilateral oophorectomy surgery. The case involved allegations that the surgery should not have been performed as well as alleged negligence for not identifying an intra-operative injury. The verdict in this case affirmed not only the skill and extraordinary qualifications of the surgeon, and the appropriateness of the recommendation for surgery, but it also exemplified a jury’s ability to understand and accept that known risks can materialize as a result of surgery in the absence of any negligence, including where death results.

In March 2023, Alex Terry obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a general dentist and dental practice in a Barnstable Superior Court jury trial. The Plaintiffs alleged that the Defendant dentist negligently failed to recommend and effectuate necessary treatment, and that the untreated dental condition later caused the Plaintiff’s prosthetic joint infection, requiring an additional surgery, causing physical and emotional injury, and permanently disabling the Plaintiff from returning to work. After 8 days of trial, the jury promptly returned a verdict that the Defendant dentist was not negligent, which also resulted in dismissal of the claims against the dental practice.

In March 2023, Michael Barkley obtained a voluntary dismissal of all claims on behalf of his client, an emergency medicine physician, just prior to closing arguments and following 11 days of trial in Suffolk Superior Court. The case involved an alleged delay in diagnosis and treatment of a small bowel obstruction, resulting in bowel ischemia, bowel necrosis, and the need for bowel resection resulting in permanent ileostomy.  Following 11 days of trial and extensive testimony by parties and experts, the Plaintiff elected to voluntarily dismiss all claims against this Defendant and proceeded to jury verdict against two remaining Co-Defendants.

In January 2023, Bernie Guekguezian obtained a defense verdict in New Bedford Superior Court on behalf of his client, a vascular surgeon. The plaintiff, a truck driver and married father of 3, had been treated at the hospital for an infection on the bottom of his right foot. He was discharged home on September 20th, 2016 to recover, with visiting nurses scheduled to visit and provide treatment to his wound. Upon discharge, his right foot had normal color, temperature, and pulses. His follow up appointment with his vascular surgeon was scheduled for October 5th. On October 1st, the plaintiff’s wife noticed that the plaintiff’s right foot had become purple. No visiting nurse was scheduled that day, so she called to request an immediate visit. Shortly thereafter, a visiting nurse arrived and conducted a comprehensive examination. She noted, among other things, that the plaintiff’s right foot had recently become “purple and dusky,” that it was cold to touch and that the foot had no pulses. She called the defendant physician, informed him of her findings, and sought direction. The physician advised the patient to keep his October 5th appointment but to call if he developed pain or his condition worsened. In the early morning of October 3rd, the plaintiff’s wife decided to take him to the hospital. He was evaluated by a vascular surgeon and underwent a tibial arterial bypass in an attempt to save his foot. It was unsuccessful and the plaintiff underwent amputation of his right forefoot. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant should have immediately referred him to the emergency room on October 1st, as he was exhibiting clear signs of impending acute limb threatening ischemia. It was undisputed that the plaintiff was rendered permanently disabled from employment as a truck driver as a result of the amputation. In addition, the plaintiff alleged that he suffers from constant pain in his foot and further alleged that the amputation has significantly hindered his ability to participate in activities of daily living.

The jury returned a “no negligence” verdict after 90 minutes of deliberations.

In December 2022, Bernie Guekguezian and Dillon Knight obtained a defense verdict in Suffolk Superior Court on behalf of their client, a psychiatrist. The plaintiff’s decedent was an individual who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and had a long history of paranoia and psychosis, violent behavior and threats against law enforcement. One evening, he was brought to the Emergency Room as a result of exhibiting behavior that presented as a threat to himself and others. He was admitted to the hospital’s psychiatric unit and came under the care of the defendant. After 7 days on the unit, the defendant deemed the decedent appropriate for discharge, despite a nurse noting that he was expressing some paranoia that morning. Days after discharge, the decedent threatened to kill a Massachusetts State Trooper and attacked the Trooper. He was shot dead in the ensuing altercation. The plaintiff brought suit under the Wrongful Death Statute and brought claims for gross negligence and punitive damages against the psychiatrist, claiming that the physician prematurely discharged the patient, discharged him on incorrect medications and further failed to institute an appropriate aftercare plan for the patient. The plaintiff claimed that these acts and omissions were a cause of the decedent’s decompensation and subsequent attack on the State Trooper, which led to his death. The jury returned a no negligence verdict after less than two hours of deliberations.

In May 2022, Michael Barkley obtained a defense verdict on behalf of his client, a primary care physician, after a 14 day trial in Worcester Superior Court. The claim involved alleged negligence by an on call physician covering for the plaintiff's regular primary care physician.  While the plaintiff's regular primary care physician was on vacation, the plaintiff's neurologic status declined and a non-contrast brain MRI revealed a potentially concerning differential diagnosis.  The claim was that the defendant did not take adequate steps to ensure a timely neurology evaluation, and to ensure that a timely follow-up post-contrast brain MRI was obtained.  The plaintiff ultimately suffered a left pontine ischemic stroke as a result of neurosarcoidosis.  The jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant, finding that he was not negligent in his involvement in the care and treatment of the plaintiff.     

In March 2022, Ellen Cohen and Sarah Doucett successfully defended a physician against whom it was alleged he had failed to obtain a patient’s informed consent for, and intentionally omitted information about, a Compassionate Use Study of an experimental drug conducted at the NIH. The physician was an internationally recognized expert in his field, but played no role in the NIH study. The patient underwent an extensive consent process at the NIH that was painstakingly documented in a lengthy consent document, the language of which had been approved both by the NIH and the FDA. After a protracted and contentious 10 day trial in the federal court in Boston, after less than 40 minutes of deliberation the jury returned a verdict in favor of the physician on both counts.

In November 2021, Michael Barkley obtained a defense verdict on behalf of his client, a hand surgeon, following a seven day trial in Norfolk Superior Court.  The case involved a surgical procedure to repair an oblique spiral fracture of the proximal phalanx of the plaintiff's left fifth finger.  The plaintiff, a musician, had a goal of restoring her postoperative range of motion so that she could return to playing her stringed instrument.  The plaintiff alleged that the defendant utilized a negligent surgical technique, and compounded postoperative complications by performing a secondary tenolysis procedure prematurely and negligently.  The plaintiff alleged that, as a result of the defendant's negligence, she ultimately required a fusion of one of the joints in her finger, rendering her finger in a contracted posture and permanently preventing her from playing her instrument.  After approximately 2 hours of deliberations, the jury returned a verdict finding that the defendant was not negligent in his care and treatment of the plaintiff.  

In November 2021, Jennifer Herlihy and Brent Gilbert obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a urologist and his practice, following a five day trial in Norfolk Superior Court in Dedham. The plaintiffs alleged the urologist was negligent during the performance of a ureteroscopy to remove a kidney stone resulting in the patient sustaining an ureteral avulsion and subsequent nephrectomy, urinary issues, and PTSD. The case was defended on the basis that the defendant’s treatment was appropriate in all respects, including that ureteroscopy was the appropriate and indicated procedure and that the procedure was performed pursuant to the standard of care. Following the trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendants after a little more than one hour of deliberation.

In September 2021, Ellen Cohen and Sarah Doucett obtained a no-negligence defense verdict for a radiologist after a jury trial in Newburyport. The allegation was that the physician failed to identify a mass-like finding on a renal ultrasound that had been ordered as a screening test relative to a new diagnosis of hypertension, and that he should have recommended additional imaging at that time. The patient was diagnosed over two years later with renal cancer and a brain lesion that was presumed to be metastatic from the kidney. The plaintiff was cancer free at the time of trial; plaintiff’s oncology expert nevertheless argued he would “most certainly “die a premature death from recurrence of his cancer. The defense focused on teaching the jury the completely normal findings on the ultrasound in question, through careful and effective visual and verbal presentation using the ultrasound imaging; this was done by the defendant radiologist as well as highly qualified experts in radiology and urologic surgical oncology. The defense verdict was returned in less than 90 minutes after an 8 day trial.

In February 2020, Ellen Epstein Cohen and Megan Grew Pimentel were very gratified to obtain a defense verdict on behalf of all their clients in the highly publicized case of Justina Pelletier, et al. v. Boston Children’s Hospital, et al. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants failed to properly diagnose and treat her complex condition, and that as a result she was subjected to a very lengthy hospitalization causing post-traumatic stress disorder and interference with the parent/child relationship, as well as violation of their civil rights related to the filing of a mandated report of suspected abuse or neglect. In addition to suing the Hospital, the plaintiffs brought claims against child and adolescent specialists in neurology, psychology and psychiatry, as well as a child abuse pediatrician. Further complicating the situation was the fact that the Suffolk County Juvenile Court ordered the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (“DCF”) to take legal custody of the child and to direct her care and treatment, as well as visitation and contact with her family, throughout her hospital admission.

The plaintiffs intentionally created a media storm of attention at the time of the hospital treatment. At that time, the central dispute was whether the patient had mitochondrial disease and whether that was properly considered in her evaluation and treatment. By the time of trial seven years later, there was very little discussion about mitochondrial disease, and the focus had shifted to whether there had been a good faith basis to file a mandated report of suspected child abuse and neglect, a so called “51A report.” There was considerable testimony regarding the child’s clearly documented history of prior over-medicalization by numerous providers at different institutions over state lines for many years by her parents, and questions about medical child abuse. The testimony made clear, however, the reason the 51A report was filed was not based on a history of questioned abuse, but rather because of the very real and present risk of medical neglect that would have resulted from the parents’ attempt to remove the child from hospital level of care in the extremely dysfunctional and debilitated condition in which she had been brought to the Hospital.

A jury trial was held in the Suffolk Superior Court over the course of nearly six weeks from January 2020 through February 2020, during which supportive experts in mitochondrial disorders, child and adolescent psychiatry, and child abuse pediatrics testified on behalf of the defendants. The plaintiffs experts consisted of a philosopher/bioethicist, a forensic psychologist, a retired E.R. physician and one of the patient’s prior treating doctors. At the conclusion of trial, on February 19, 2020, after only 6 hours, the jury returned a verdict fully in favor of all defendants on all claims, finding that the plaintiffs had not proven any of their claims; that is, that none of the defendants had been negligent in their care and treatment of the minor patient and that they had not violated the civil rights of the plaintiffs.

The jury’s verdict firmly vindicated the very talented and dedicated team of providers at Boston Children’s Hospital, each of whom worked so hard during this long hospital admission for the best interest of their patient under extremely challenging circumstances and pressures. In addition, the verdict had broader significance with regard to its effect on the critical role of mandated reporters. This trial emphasized that those who work with children must file a 51A report if they have good faith basis to suspect child abuse or neglect (physical, sexual or medical abuse or neglect), and that the immunity conferred on them by statute for so filing will protect them from unfounded claims such as those asserted in this case.

This is the first case tried by our firm which is featured in a television show. Peacock released a 4 episode docu-series called "The Battle for Justina Pelletier" in which Ellen Cohen is featured, along with many parts of the actual trial. For more information on this, click here.

If a provider has any question about when and whether to file a 51A report they are encouraged to consult with the Child Protective Team of their institution, their practice risk manager, or legal counsel. We are happy to advise healthcare providers in this regard.

For more information regarding the law on filing by mandated reporters, click here
For media coverage of the Pelletier trial see:
Boston Globe
WBUR
NBC Boston
Fox 25

In March 2020, Brian Fielding obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a General Surgeon following a 6-day Superior Court jury trial in New Bedford. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant negligently left behind a foreign object during an irrigation and wound vac placement procedure and thereafter negligently failed to identify and remove the foreign object during subsequent wound care.

In November 2019, Ellen Cohen successfully defended an ENT surgeon in the Lowell Superior Court in a case in which it was alleged that the doctor should not have performed an additional procedure that became necessary intra-operatively during a planned surgery intended to better protect the patient’s airway. The claim also focused on informed consent. The doctor did a superb job teaching the jury about the complicated anatomy and physiologic process involved in swallowing, and his care was supported by experts in the fields of ENT and head/neck pathology who also testified at trial. The jury returned a no negligence defense verdict after a relatively brief deliberation.

In June 2019, Ellen Epstein Cohen and Megan Grew Pimentel successfully obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a family medicine physician in Barnstable Superior Court. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant physician and a visiting nurse failed to timely diagnose and treat a pulmonary embolism in a post-operative patient who died 4 days later. The defendants each maintained that they provided appropriate care and treatment in their respective roles. The case was tried over two weeks, following which the jury concluded that both the physician and nurse were not negligent.

In June 2019, Michael Barkley and Brent Gilbert obtained a defense verdict on behalf of two clients, a surgical oncologist and a thoracic surgeon, in a Suffolk Superior Court jury trial.  The plaintiff alleged that the defendants were negligent in the manner in which they positioned the patient on the operating table and protected pressure points, prior to a lengthy surgery to remove a chondroma from the patient's chest wall.  Following the procedure, the patient was diagnosed with compartment syndrome of the thenar eminence of the right hand, requiring multiple surgical procedures and allegedly resulting in permanent nerve injury.  The case was tried over nine days, following which the jury concluded that both surgeons were not negligent in their care and treatment of the plaintiff.

In March 2019, Brian Fielding obtained a defense verdict in a wrongful death case on behalf of a Rheumatologist and rheumatology practice group following a 2-week Superior Court jury trial in Providence. The plaintiff alleged the defendant negligently failed to diagnose and timely and properly treat dermato-polymyositis resulting in disease progression, including a fatal interstitial lung disease.

In August 2018, Bernie Guekguezian obtained, after 5 days of jury trial in Worcester Superior Court, a voluntary dismissal of all claims against a radiologist.  The plaintiff claimed that the radiologist negligently failed to identify a spiculated mass and worrisome microcalcifications on her mammogram.  The plaintiff alleged that this led to a 2 year delay in the diagnosis of her breast cancer, resulting in the need for radical mastectomy and a complicated course of chemotherapy.   The defense acknowledged that the cancer was present in the mammogram, but that the mammogram was not worrisome and required no additional testing or follow up.   No money was paid to the plaintiff in exchange for the dismissal.

In June 2018, Bernie Guekguezian obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a cardiologist in a Bristol Superior Court jury trial.  The plaintiff alleged that the defendant cardiologist negligently discharged her husband from the hospital for outpatient testing when he presented with substernal chest pain radiating to the shoulder, shortness of breath, nausea and diaphoresis.  Her husband died from cardiac arrest three days after discharge.  Her three children also brought claims for the loss of their father.  After a six day trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant, finding that he was not negligent.  The jury deliberated less than 90 minutes before reaching its verdict.

In June 2018, Michael Barkley obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a general dentist in a Norfolk Superior Court jury trial.  The plaintiff alleged that the defendant dentist negligently failed to obtain her informed consent before performing an occlusal equilibration procedure.  The plaintiff further alleged that the procedure resulted in the development of temporomandibular joint disorder and myofascial pain, resulting in physical and emotional injury, and the need for substantial restorative dental work.  After a five day trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant, finding that the defendant had not negligently failed to obtain informed consent.

In June 2018, Ellen Cohen defended an emergency medicine physician in a case involving treatment of an infant who presented in respiratory distress and died while undergoing care in the ER.  After a two week trial, the jury returned a verdict that the defendant physician’s care of this sick baby was proper and he had not been negligent. 

In May 2018, Michael Barkley obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a hospitalist in a Plymouth Superior Court jury trial.  The plaintiff alleged that five defendant physicians failed to timely diagnose and treat a cerebellar stroke, resulting in the premature death of a 38 year old man.  After a 20 day trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant hospitalist, finding that he was not negligent in his care and treatment of the plaintiff's decedent.  The jury also returned a verdict in favor of all co-defendants, each of whom was represented by separate counsel.

In May 2018, George Wakeman and Sarah Doucett obtained a defense verdict on behalf of two orthopedic surgery residents in a Suffolk Superior Court jury trial. The Plaintiff alleged that the defendant resident physicians, the attending physician, and three orthopedic nurses failed to diagnose and treat hyponatremia. The Plaintiff alleged that as a result, he suffered severe and permanent neurologic deficits.  The jury returned verdicts in favor of all Defendants following a 3½ week trial.

In March 2018, George Wakeman obtained a defense verdict on behalf of his client, an Emergency medicine physician from a Boston teaching hospital, following a two and a half week jury trial in Suffolk Superior Court in Boston.  The plaintiff sued the Emergency medicine and Radiology specialists from a community hospital and the Emergency medicine specialist (our client) and neurology residents from the Boston hospital.  The plaintiff alleged that our client negligently failed to diagnose that the decedent was suffering from a posterior stroke and failed to initiate immediate stroke protocol, including STAT MRI and experimental treatments.  The plaintiff alleged the decedent’s death was the result of a failure to diagnose and timely treat the stroke.  Following the trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of all defendants (5 individual physicians) after less than 3 hours of deliberations.  Brent Gilbert assisted Attorney Wakeman throughout the case.

In February 2018, Ellen Cohen and Megan Pimentel obtained a defense verdict on behalf of an obstetrician and his practice group, following a three week jury trial in New Bedford Superior Court. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant physician and two labor and delivery nurses failed to recognize a non-reassuring fetal heart tracing and expedite earlier delivery of the baby via caesarean section. The Plaintiff alleged that as a result, the baby suffered severe and permanent neurologic injuries. The defendants each maintained that their care had been proper and the labor and delivery was well managed and was not the cause of the child’s developmental delay. After consideration of all the evidence presented at trial, the jury returned a verdict finding that none of the defendants had been negligent.

In February 2018, Michael Barkley obtained a defense verdict on behalf of an Ob/Gyn and Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist in a Suffolk Superior Court jury trial.  The case involved a fetal demise at 22 weeks gestation.  The plaintiff alleged that the defendant negligently failed to identify a prematurely dilating cervix on a limited ultrasound study performed 8 days prior to the plaintiff going into labor and delivering a previable infant.  After an 8 day trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant, finding that he was not negligent in his care and treatment of the plaintiff.  

In January 2018, Jennifer Herlihy and Megan Pimentel obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a psychiatrist following a two week jury trial in Brockton Superior Court. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant negligently discharged a psychiatric patient from an inpatient facility. The psychiatric patient committed suicide three weeks after his discharge. Following trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendants.

In October 2017, George Wakeman and Brent Gilbert obtained a defense verdict on behalf of their four clients, an orthopedic spine surgeon and three orthopedic surgeons who were residents at the time, following an eight day jury trial in Suffolk Superior Court in Boston.  The plaintiff alleged that the defendants negligently failed to timely treat two disc herniations in her cervical spine causing compression.  Plaintiffs alleged that surgery should have been performed on an emergency basis over the weekend rather than waiting until Monday.  The plaintiff alleged that, as a result of the negligence, the patient suffered neurological injuries affecting her lower extremities.  The case was defended on the basis that (1) the treatment was appropriate in all respects as the plaintiff’s symptoms were the result of chronic cervical spine compression and did not require urgent or emergent surgery, (2) the plaintiff’s condition remained stable or improved over the weekend, and (3) the patient’s injury occurred due to a reperfusion complication that was entirely unrelated to the timing of the surgery or anything that the defendants did.  Following the trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendants after less than three hours of deliberation.

In February 2017, Michael Barkley obtained a defense verdict on behalf of an interventional radiologist and vascular surgeon in a Suffolk Superior Court jury trial.  The Defendant performed a procedure to declot an arteriovenus graft and repair a venous stenosis.  During the procedure, a rupture of the brachial vein occurred, resulting in extravasation of contrast media and, the Plaintiff alleged, bleeding.  Although it was undisputed that the vein was repaired during the procedure, the Plaintiff alleged that the Defendant negligently failed to disclose this complication to the Plaintiff, resulting in a delay in seeking medical care when she developed postoperative pain and swelling.  The Plaintiff alleged that she developed compartment syndrome, causing compression of the median nerve and permanent complex regional pain syndrome.  After a seven day trial, the jury deliberated approximately an hour before returning a verdict in favor of the Defendant, finding that he was not negligent. 

In November 2016, George Wakeman and Brent Gilbert obtained a defense verdict on behalf of their client, an otolaryngologist, following a nine day jury trial in Suffolk Superior Court in Boston.  Their other client, a physician’s assistant, was dismissed from the case during the trial.  The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants were negligent in failing to refer an 8 year old patient for surgery to treat tracheal stenosis.  The plaintiffs alleged that, as a result of the negligence, the patient suffered a hypoxic ischemic injury, resulting in significant neurological injury and complete disability.  The case was defended on the basis that the defendants’ treatment was appropriate in all respects and the patient’s injury occurred due to a choking incident that was entirely unrelated to the patient’s tracheal stenosis.  Following the trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant after less than one hour of deliberation.

In November 2016, Michael Barkley obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a general surgeon in a Worcester Superior Court jury trial.  The plaintiff alleged that the defendant general surgeon was negligent in assisting the co-defendant orthopedic surgeon in an anterior lumbar interbody spinal fusion procedure.  18 days following surgery, the patient was diagnosed with a perforated ureter, and underwent extensive treatment to drain a urinoma and repair the ureter.  At trial, all parties agreed that the injury to the ureter resulted from the surgery.  The case was defended on the basis that injury to the ureter is a rare, but recognized, complication that can (and in this case did) occur in the absence of negligence during a spinal fusion procedure performed with an anterior approach.  The defense argued that this complication occurred despite proper, appropriate precautions and surgical technique, and not due to negligence on the part of the surgeons, and that there was no negligent delay in diagnosis of the patient's condition during the immediate postoperative period.  After evidence was presented over 5 days, the jury deliberated less than an hour before returning a verdict in favor of both defendant surgeons.

In October 2016, Ellen Cohen defended a gastroenterologist in a case tried in Middlesex County against four physicians.  The plaintiff alleged that his wife died a premature and wrongful death as a result of an alleged delay in the diagnosis and treatment of colon cancer.  At trial, the plaintiff’s attorney tried to make it appear that there had been poor communication and a lack of coordination of care among the providers.  After a trial which lasted over two weeks, the jury returned a defense verdict in favor of all of the defendant physicians within two hours, concluding that none of the providers had been negligent.  The verdict indicated that this jury accepted the premise that a “doctor/patient relationship” imparts a shared responsibility on both the providers and the patient.

In September 2016, Ellen Cohen obtained a defense verdict in a case tried in Suffolk County, which had been brought against two primary care providers alleging that they were responsible for the unpredicted spontaneous suicide of a patient.  The jury returned a verdict finding that there had not been any negligence by either defendant, despite the tragic outcome for this patient and his family.

In August 2016, George Wakeman and Brent Gilbert obtained defense verdicts on behalf of their clients, a reproductive endocrinologist and a radiologist, following a 5 week jury trial in Norfolk Superior Court in Dedham.  The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants were negligent in failing to identify that ultrasound imaging performed following IVF treatment revealed both intrauterine and ectopic pregnancies (also known as a heterotopic pregnancy).  The plaintiffs alleged the delay in diagnosis of the heterotopic pregnancy allowed it to rupture at 14 weeks requiring urgent surgery, causing the fetus to sustain a hypoxic-ischemic injury in utero, resulting in the baby’s severe birth defects and current complete disability.  Following the 5 weeks of trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendants (8 individuals and 4 corporations) after 6 hours of deliberations.

In June 2016, Michael Barkley obtained a defense verdict in Superior Court on behalf of a physician assistant practicing in a hospital emergency department.  The physician assistant was one of six defendants in the case.  The plaintiff alleged that the defendant physician assistant failed to timely diagnose and treat a cervical spine injury, causing a delay in spinal decompression surgery and resulting in permanent neurological deficits to the plaintiff.  The case was tried over 18 days in Bristol Superior Court in Taunton, MA.  The jury returned a verdict finding that the defendant physician assistant was not negligent in his care and treatment of the plaintiff. 

In June 2016 Jennifer H