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SOURCE Lubell Rosen
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Oct. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Fort Lauderdale-based attorneys of Lubell Rosen, partners Steven Lubell, Esq. and Julia Ingle, Esq., successfully defended a Fort Pierce family doctor in a wrongful death lawsuit, which involved the mysterious fainting and subsequent death of a Ft. Pierce woman by a massive pulmonary embolism. The jury took less than hour on Oct. 15, 2013, to rule in favor of defendant, Dwight Dawkins, MD, and held that he did not commit negligence that caused the death of Eliza Miller.
Miller, 67, mysteriously fainted on October 14, 2011. Paramedics were called, but found no other symptoms. At the hospital, the emergency room physician who evaluated Miller also found no symptoms. The ER doctor testified that he believed that the fainting may have been related to her history of cardiac issues, and considered several other possible causes, but could not make an official diagnosis.
The ER physician contacted Dawkins, Miller's family doctor, who admitted her to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center. Dawkins testified that after admitting Miller, he called Miller's cardiologist and a neurologist to evaluate her. He also ordered a blood thinner for her heart disease. All three doctors saw Miller throughout the course of the day, and she continued to report no symptoms. Various tests were ordered, but were deemed inconclusive.
At 10:05 p.m., Miller had another fainting episode and quickly declined. The doctors tried to resuscitate her, but were unsuccessful. She expired at 12:05 a.m.
An autopsy confirmed that the cause of death was a pulmonary embolism, a blood clot formed in a person's extremities, which migrates to the heart and the lungs. In this case, the medical examiner testified that Miller died of a massive pulmonary embolism, clogging both arteries from the heart to the lungs. There was no chance to save her.
J. Scott Gunn, of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida represented plaintiff L.C. Miller, Miller's husband and personal representative of her estate. Gunn claimed that the doctors should have considered pulmonary embolism as a potential cause of Miller's initial fainting episode.
Lubell offered the testimony of Kevin Inwood, MD, a board certified internal medicine specialist from Jupiter, Florida. Inwood testified that he did not believe pulmonary embolism caused Miller's initial fainting episode. He opined that even if the doctors checked for a pulmonary embolism, they wouldn't have found anything and would have never found the blood clot. He believed more likely the fainting was caused by any number of reasons, but a pulmonary embolism was not one.
In closing, Lubell argued it was unfair to hold Dawkins accountable for failing to determine the cause of Miller's fainting episode at the time of her arrival. None of the four attending doctors were able to determine the cause of the initial fainting in the very short time she was admitted. Lubell also argued that even if the plaintiff's theory was correct, the recommended medication for a pulmonary embolism would not have been able to prevent her death in just 12 hours.
On October 15, 2013, exactly two years to the date of Miller's passing, the jury rendered its verdict. After a five-day trial, it took the jury less than an hour to deliberate.
About Lubell Rosen
Lubell Rosen is a law firm dedicated to providing full service representation as well as defending and protecting physicians and healthcare professionals. The firm has been named a U.S. Top Ranked Law Firm by FORTUNE Money Magazine. Lubell Rosen's headquarters are located at 200 S. Andrews Ave., Suite 900, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. The firm also has offices in Coral Gables, Fla., Syosset, N.Y., Upper Saddle River, N.J. and Atlanta, Ga. For more information, visit www.lubellrosen.com.
CASE NO.: 12-CA-004854
Duree Ross / Duree & Company, Inc.
Jennifer Martinez / Duree & Company, Inc.
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