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Home / Verdicts & Settlements / Physician not negligent in diagnosing man’s brain injury — Defense verdict

Physician not negligent in diagnosing man’s brain injury — Defense verdict

Type of action: Medical malpractice

Injuries alleged: Permanent and severe anoxic brain injury

Tried before: Jury

Name of judge or mediator: Judge Anne M. Reed

Date resolved: 11/17/2022



Special damages: More than $3,000,000

Demand: $2,200,000

Verdict or settlement: Verdict

Amount: $0 (defense)

Attorneys for defendant (and city): Michael E. Olszewski and D. Michael Faust, Fairfax; C.J. Steuart Thomas III and Noelle Quam, Staunton

Description of case: The patient, a 54-year-old man, crashed his mountain bike and sustained traumatic chest and spinal injuries. He was brought to the local emergency room by ambulance. The defendants were the emergency medicine doctor and the hospital nursing staff.


Upon presentation to the emergency room, the patient had no neurological injuries. The emergency medicine doctor placed a chest tube, then the patient decompensated and became minimally responsive.

The doctor replaced the initial chest tube catheter with a large bore chest tube, then intubated the patient because he had become hypoxic. After being flown to a trauma center, the patient was diagnosed with a severe, permanent anoxic brain injury.

The patient claimed that the defendants were negligent for allowing him to become hypoxic for a prolonged period which resulted in his severe and permanent anoxic brain injury. The patient claimed more than $3 million in economic damages in addition to pain and suffering. After the plaintiff rested his case, the hospital defendants were dismissed on a motion to strike. The case continued against the emergency medicine physician. After four and a half hours of deliberation, the jury returned a defense verdict.

Defense counsel D. Michael Faust provided case information.