Palm Beach County

(25) JOYCE HALEY vs. BETHESDA MEMORIAL HOSPITAL; PAUL F. HYLAND, M.D.; PAUL F. HYLAND, M.D., P.A.; PALM COAST SURGICAL ASSOCIATES, P.A.; MATTHEW J. D’ALESSIO, M.D.; and BETHESDA MEDICAL ASSOCIATES, INC. (Circuit Court of Palm Beach County, 15th Judicial Circuit, Florida)

County/Docket #/Judge: Palm Beach / 502011VA0018862 / Peter D. Blanc

Plaintiff(s) Attorney(s): Karen E. Terry and Matthew K. Schwencke of Searcy, Denney, et al., P.A., West Palm Beach, FL

Defendant(s) Attorney(s): Barbara W. Sonneborn of Sonneborn, Rutter, et al., P.A., West Palm Beach, FL for Bethesda Memorial Hospital and Bethesda Medical Associates; Brian Russell of Bobo, Ciotoli, et al., P.A., North Palm Beach, FL for Matthew D’Alessio, M.D.; Michael K. Mittelmark of Michaud, Mittelmark, et al., P.A., Boca Raton, FL for Paul Hyland, M.D., Paul Hyland, M.D., P.A., and Palm Coast Surgical Associates

Age/Sex/Occupation Of Plaintiff: n/a / F / n/a

Cause Of Injury: Medical Malpractice/Gastrointestinal Surgery/Hernia Repair/Failure to Recognize Perforation of Small Bowel. On Sept. 23, 2010, defendant Paul F. Hyland, M.D., performed laparoscopic hernia repair surgery on plaintiff Joyce Haley at defendant Bethesda Memorial Hospital. Plaintiff awoke in the recovery room in severe pain and respiratory distress. Her condition continued to decline and she developed hypoxia, tachycardia, and hypotension. She eventually required reintubation. On Sept. 25, 2010, defendant Matthew D’Alessio, M.D., performed an exploratory laparotomy which showed an enteric communication of the peritoneal cavity, enterotomy within the mid small bowel, and multiple diffuse intra-abdominal adhesions, which were acutely inflammatory in nature. As the perforation of plaintiff’s small bowel had caused leaking into her abdominal cavity, she had developed peritonitis and sepsis. Dr. D’Alessio removed portions of plaintiff’s small bowel but allegedly failed to remove the entirety of the infected mesh material. Plaintiff remained in the hospital until November of 2010 and was wheelchair ridden for an extended period of time. Plaintiff allegedly had permanent mental and physical sequela as a result of the surgical incidents. 
Plaintiff filed a medical malpractice action against defendants on April 12, 2012. Plaintiff’s claims against Dr. D’Alessio were settled and dismissed with prejudice on April 27, 2017. Plaintiff’s claims against Bethesda Memorial and Bethesda Medical Associates were settled and dismissed with prejudice on June 26, 2017. Plaintiff’s claims against Dr. Hyland, Paul F. Hyland, M.D., P.A., and Palm Coast Surgical Associates proceeded to a jury trial.

Nature Of Injury: Perforation of small bowel; peritonitis; sepsis; removal of sections of bowel and associated problems; permanent mental and physical sequela; pain and suffering.

Expert Witnesses:
Plaintiff's:
Michelle Glower, R.N., Nursing, Grand Rapids, MI
Thomas Gouge, M.D., Surgery, New York, NY
Defendant's:
Larry Christopher Martin, M.D., Surgery, Jackson, MS
Thomas Walshe, M.D., Neurology, Boston, MA
Hugh Calkins, M.D., Cardiology, Baltimore, MD
Allan L. Goldman, M.D., Pulmonology, Tampa, FL
Jon Benjamin Morris, M.D., Gastrointestinal Surgery, Philadelphia, PA
Michael H. Kleinman, M.D., Houston, TX
David Michael Grischkan, M.D., Surgery, Beachwood, OH
Terry L Eggenberger, Ph.D., R.N., Nursing, Jupiter, FL

Verdict: $1,554,250.38 for Plaintiff on June 20, 2017 ($176,464.38 – past medical expenses; $917,786 – future medical expenses; $400,000 – past pain and suffering; $60,000 – future pain and suffering).