Type of action: Medical malpractice
Injuries alleged: Wrongful death
Court: Prince William County Circuit Court
Tried before: Jury
Date resolved: 6/15/2022
Demand: $5,000,000 ad damnum
Verdict or settlement: Verdict
Amount: $0 (defense)
Attorneys for defendant (and city): Rodney Dillman and Julie Mayer, Virginia Beach
Description of case: The sole issue at this trial was whether the defendant’s conduct in treating the decedent was willful, wanton and/or reckless enough to justify an award of punitive damages based on this treatment of her that led to her death. Liability had already been addressed by a previous trial. The defendant began treating the decedent in 2005, approximately. She had several orthopedic problems and issues. From 2011 to 2012, the defendant performed three surgeries on her left ankle, which involved hardware, screws and plates. She continued to return to his office for post-operative pain management and possible additional surgery.
The defendant’s last physical exam of the decedent was in April 2013. Due to a breakdown in communications, as well as an admitted insufficient and problematic recordkeeping system, she was permitted to present to his office for a prescription of Percocet on a weekly basis for the next 14 months. In total, the defendant prescribed 54 bottles of Percocet to the decedent over that 14-month timeframe (without him having performed a single actual office examination of the decedent). In June 2014, the decedent was found deceased. The autopsy report indicated that she died of an overdose combination of alcohol, Percocet and Valium.
Rodney Dillman, defendant’s counsel, provided case information.