St. Francis Hospital Doctors Are Ordered to Pay Substantial Verdict of $7 Million

Dec 30, 2010, 15:06 ET from Pegalis and Erickson, LLC

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., Dec. 30, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- On Wednesday, 12/22/10, Dr. Christopher Mendola (a cardiovascular surgeon) and Dr. Patrick Monteleone ( a cardiologist), each affiliated with the well-known St. Francis Hospital ("The Heart Center") in Roslyn, Long Island, NY, were found liable to Owen McNamara, and his wife Jo-Ann McNamara, by a jury in Queens County Supreme Court.  The jury awarded Mr. & Mrs. McNamara a total of $7 million in damages.

- The 4 week trial was presided over by Hon. Jeffrey Lebowitz.

- Mr. & Mrs. McNamara were represented by Steven E. Pegalis, Lake Success, NY.

- St. Francis Hospital and the affiliated doctors were represented by Peter Bower, New York, NY.

Mr. McNamara's by-pass surgery, described as "routine" went without complication.  However, post-operatively in the intensive care unit (ICU), he developed bleeding around his heart which produced a tamponade (blood and fluid accumulation in the sac surrounding the heart, which compressed the heart and interfered with heart function).  Instead of timely identifying the pressure build-up, which could easily have been relieved within minutes, there was a negligent failure to timely recognize and communicate the development of this post-operative complication, leading to Mr. McNamara's cardiac arrest (heart attack).

Mr. McNamara almost died but survived to experience a nightmare of multiple complications resulting in 2 1/2 years of active hospital and rehab treatment.  Ironically, the by-pass surgery successfully corrected the heart blockages, but the cardiac arrest produced permanent serious heart damage that previously did not exist, along with serious breathing, chest and infectious complications.

In an age in which emphasis has been placed on patient safety and avoiding medical errors, the crux issue in this case was the doctors' failure to timely communicate and document the medical record regarding the developing signs and symptoms of tamponade.  Mr. Pegalis contended that if the signs and symptoms were timely recognized, treatment could have been rendered within minutes, thereby sparing Mr. McNamara the heart attack and the ensuing complications.

About Pegalis and Erickson: Pegalis & Erickson, LLC is a Long Island based firm dedicated to representing individuals or their families that have been seriously injured as a result of medical malpractice, negligence and failure to diagnose. A voice and advocate for medical patient safety our core philosophy is to represent injured patients while helping to suppress the actions of careless medical practices by way of instituting accountability to parties responsible in the blatant disregard of medical safety procedures that have impacted lives.

CONTACT: JAMES B. BAYDAR, ESQ. - cell#: (516) 236-1791  e-mail:

SOURCE Pegalis and Erickson, LLC