Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck Secures $14 Million Settlement in Medical Malpractice Case

Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C. shareholders Dan Jeck and Joshua B. Schwartz recently confidentially settled for $14,000,000 a medical malpractice action they pursued against a neurosurgeon and hospital for the negligent performance of an endovascular embolization surgical procedure to seal off a brain aneurysm.

Due to the improper catheter position at a location dangerously close to the basilar artery in the brain, when the surgeons inappropriately chose to inject the glue (“Onyx”) to attempt to stop blood flow to the aneurysm, it spilled and caused an unwanted reflux of glue into the bilateral posterior cerebral arteries and towards the brain stem, as demonstrated on a post-operative angiogram and CT scans. This caused a series of strokes and debilitating irreversible brain damage.

An aneurysm is a balloon-like bulge of an artery wall which can enlarge over time and potentially rupture, causing a hemorrhagic stroke. After a rupture, there is an ever-increasing risk that it will rupture again. Surgeons typically treat brain aneurysms by isolating them (known as an embolization) from the normal blood flow, either by a surgical clip or by filling them with coils.

Another way to embolize an aneurysm is to seal it off with glue/Onyx to stop blood flow. To meet with the standard of care, only after reaching optimal catheter placement at or in very close proximity to the aneurysm and away from other blood vessels should the physician operator dispense glue/Onyx via a smaller micro-catheter into the aneurysm.

In this case, a pre-procedure image—an angiogram—showed that defendants were not able to get the catheter close enough to the aneurysm before deploying the glue. Post-procedure angiograms and CT scans showed that the glue went into other areas of the brain and caused a series of life-altering strokes.

Dan and Josh obtained support for this case from world-renowned experts in the field of radiology, neuro-endovascular surgery, and stroke neurology.

There were no indications of wrongdoing in the patient’s extensive medical chart. The case was put together by reviewing and re-reviewing imaging of the brain with an expert in radiology. Animations and models using the patient’s actual imaging were prepared to show the jury what was intended—as opposed to what really occurred, causing extensive brain damage.

Dan and Josh also retained a professional filmmaking crew to record a “day in the life” of their tragically injured client to show a jury the amount of assistance he needed each day to live his life.

The case settled after mediation and just before trial.