San Francisco Hospital Performs Negligent Treatment Causing Permanent Brain Damage

The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of a medical malpractice case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court. It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this medical malpractice case could just as easily occur at any of the healthcare facilities in the area, such as Kaiser Permanente, UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco General, California Pacific Medical Center, or St. Francis Memorial Hospital.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury case and its proceedings.)

INJURIES: Clemmens sustained traumatic encephalopathy and required eight months of hospitalization. He now has significant cognitive deficits and general difficulty performing the tasks of every day life. He is unable to return to work.


On Sept. 26, 2007, plaintiff Nathan Clemmens, 53, a sales manager for Oasis, fainted while at San Francisco International Airport, hitting his head on the floor and becoming dazed. He was rushed via ambulance to San Francisco General Hospital, where a CT scan revealed a small subarachnoid hemorrhage and an EKG revealed a heart attack. A subsequent angiography showed an occluded right coronary artery.

The plaintiff was hemodynamically stable, but cardiologists at the hospital decided to perform angioplasty and place a stent. Following the administration of anticoagulant agents, Clemmens developed massive bleeding in the brain in the form of bilateral frontal intraparenchymal hemorrhages. He survived, but sustained permanent brain damage.

Via his wife, Clemmens sued the hospital’s operator, The Regents of the University of California, for medical malpractice. Clemmens’s counsel claimed that given knowledge of the plaintiff’s head injury, the stenting procedure was contraindicated and an unacceptable risk. The lawyer claimed that the danger from the plaintiff’s clogged coronary artery was not life threatening.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

The defense responded that Clemmens’s severely occluded coronary artery had to be immediately addressed to avoid further damage to the heart. Counsel contended that the involved doctors exercised their best judgment.

He allegedly incurred $1.6 million in medical damages, all which was covered by insurance. He sought recovery for future medical damages, lost wages and pain and suffering.

The plaintiff’s wife, Catherine Clemmens, 50s, brought — and then dropped — a claim for loss of consortium.

RESULT: Settlement
Award Total: $4,950,000

The parties agreed to a pretrial settlement of $4.95 million.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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