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Pa. Jury Awards $ 1.5 Million In Cook’s Medical Malpractice Action For Loss Of Sense Of Taste Following Tonsillectomy

On Feb. 17, 2012, Antonio Costagliola and Tiffany Costagliola filed a medical malpractice action against defendants, Samuel V. Rizzo, M.D. and his medical practice of Ear, Nose, Throat Surgery, in the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas for Luzerne County. Plaintiffs alleged that defendants had been negligent in connection with the Sept. 14, 2009 tonsillectomy surgery that Dr. Rizzo performed on Antonio. Specifically, they maintained that following the surgery, Antonio suffered from a loss of the sense of taste and that defendants failed to properly advise Antonio that such a thing was a possible risk of the surgery. They further alleged that the surgical record failed to note that any steps were taken to protect Antonio's tongue and the surrounding nerves. In addition to Antonio's claims for negligence, Tiffany asserted a claim for loss of consortium.

The matter proceeded to a jury trial before Judge Richard M. Hughes. Antonio, who worked as a cook, maintained that the loss of taste affected his ability to effectively perform his job. During a deposition, Dr. Rizzo admitted that he never discussed the potential for Antonio suffering a loss of taste because such a side effect was extremely rare.

On May 7, 2015, the jury reached a verdict in plaintiffs' favor. Although the jury found that Dr. Rizzo had not been negligent, they found that he had failed to obtain Antonio's informed consent. The jury awarded Antonio $ 1,500,000.00 in damages. The jury did not award Tiffany anything for the loss of consortium claim.

Lexis Advance subscribers can view the complete summary here: Antonio Costagliola and Tiffany Costagliola v. Samuel V. Rizzo, M.D. And Ear, Nose, Throat Surgery; 2014 Jury Verdicts LEXIS 8257

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