John R. Penhallegon and Mary Alane Downs Receive Favorable Judgment While Representing Codefendents in Same Case

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IADC members John R. Penhallegon, of Cornblatt, Bennett, Penhallegon & Roberson, P.A., and Mary Alane Downs, of Morgan Carlo Downs & Everton, Director and Faculty Member at the 2014 IADC Trial Academy respectively, had judgment entered in favor of their clients while representing codefendants in the same medical malpractice death case.

The case, tried in The Circuit Court of Maryland for Wicomico County over five days, involved a 51 year old man brought to a hospital emergency room complaining of severe chest pain radiating to the left arm, diaphoresis, and dizziness. An EKG obtained promptly on arrival was markedly abnormal, characterized by some experts as "bizarre." Ms. Downs' client, the on call interventional cardiologist, was consulted by the emergency physician and came to the emergency room. He concluded that the patient did not meet criteria for ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) requiring immediate catheterization and angioplasty. However, some 20 minutes later when the patient's pain recurred, an emergent catheterization was requested. The catheterization began two hours after initial arrival in the emergency room despite a hospital policy Door to Balloon goal of less than 90 minutes. The patient arrested seconds after the injection of contrast dye and died 4 hours later. Plaintiffs alleged that the EKG clearly demonstrated a STEMI requiring immediate angioplasty from the time of arrival in the emergency room.

The court directed the entry of judgment in favor of Mr. Penhallegon's hospital client at the conclusion of the plaintiff's case. The jury later returned a verdict in favor of Ms. Downs' cardiologist client after one hour of deliberations.

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