Charles Cole Obtains Defense Verdict for Doctor in High-Stakes Medical Malpractice Case

Chicago, Ill. (January 30, 2024) - Chicago Partner Charles Cole recently secured a complete defense verdict for a doctor client in a medical malpractice case in which the plaintiff sought more than $28 million.

A jury in York County, South Carolina, quickly returned the verdict following a two-week trial in the case, titled Shore v. Gajurel.

The plaintiff, who had been admitted to a hospital for several complex medical conditions, claimed she became malnourished while under the defendant's care. She claimed that malnourishment caused her to develop a condition called Wernicke's syndrome, which then transformed into Korsakoff's syndrome, a permanent significant brain injury causing severe disability and a need for 24/7 care.  

Mr. Cole and his team argued that the patient was not malnourished, and that the care rendered by the client physician was appropriate and consistent with the applicable Standard of Care. They proved at trial that, contrary to the plaintiff's theory, her disabilities were due to a pre-existing schizophrenic disorder and the plaintiff's failure to seek appropriate and necessary treatment for that issue.

In addition, Mr. Cole and his team proved via highly complex CT and MRI imaging that the damage to the patient's brain, which explained all her disabilities, had occurred months - if not years - before, and certainly not during the hospital stay at issue. The plaintiff was in the hospital for 30 days before being transferred to another facility for six months.

The plaintiff's counsel asked the jury for $8.3 million in past and future medical and caregiving costs and expenses, as well as a number in excess of $20 million for the plaintiff's non-economic damages, including pain and suffering, loss of a normal life, and punitive damages. The jury deliberated for only one hour before returning a complete defense verdict for Mr. Cole's client.

Mr. Cole is a member of the Medical Malpractice Department, and spends the majority his time defending physicians and other healthcare providers. He has tried more than 80 cases to verdict involving multi-million-dollar exposures. His practice areas and trial experience include medical malpractice, professional liability, complex construction matters, amusement claims, commercial litigation, transportation negligence, and general liability defense.

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