The cases below
…are a few examples of just some of the hundreds of actual cases the law offices of Mulligan, Banham & Findley has fought to help injured people and their families. Names have been omitted in order to protect client confidentiality.
Many of the cases below are medical malpractice lawsuits. In California, there is a $250,000.00 cap on general damages that limits how much a patient can recover from a health care provider. However, there are exceptions to the caps on damages, including allowing recovery for lost wages, future medical expenses, etc. We use our knowledge of the law to maximize recovery for our deserving clients, injured by preventable medical errors.
Of course, each case is unique and Mulligan, Banham & Findley cannot guarantee any particular result. Rather, these cases are illustrative of the type of cases and results this law firm has had in the past.
MB&F attorneys Janice Mulligan and Brian Findley win Outstanding Trial Lawyer Awards from Consumer Attorneys of San Diego for their work on a 2018 medical malpractice, wrongful death trial. The $5.475 million verdict was the highest failure to diagnose verdict in California of the year.
Jan Mulligan and Brian Findley tried this medical malpractice/wrongful death case in Orange County for over four weeks. The trial was against a hospital for nursing failure to adequately monitor a post-op thyroidectomy (neck surgery) patient. The patient developed a bleed in his neck. He, and his wife for him, complained of difficulty breathing over the course of about 5 hours post-op. They begged for a doctor but the nurses never got one, he was just given IV opiates until he fell asleep. When he woke up he turned blue, made the diver’s symbol for “no air,” and coded, suffering irreversible brain damage. He never woke up again, and finally had to be removed from life support.
For this case and verdict, Jan Mulligan & Brian Findley won Outstanding Trial Lawyer Awards from the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego, and Jan Mulligan was named a finalist for Trial Lawyer of the Year 2018. Ms. Mulligan also won a Top Gun Award from the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association.
The firm achieved a settlement in the amount above, which then included payments to trust and annuities for full life care for a child who was injured at birth. Errors at a hospital by poorly trained nursing staff in care of a high risk mother, led to brain injury, cerebral palsy and quadriplegia in the infant. An emergency C-Section was not done as needed. The settlement avoided protracted litigation and enabled the family to immediately get the therapies needed for this child and allowed the family to buy a house and van both outfitted specifically for him and to pay for the child’s future care. This settlement also included a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress by a relative who was present at the birth.
The case was brought against a clinic and a private pharmacy, with regard to overprescription of the medication Reglan, in violation of “black box” warnings. The Plaintiff suffered from repetitive involuntary movements as a result of the over-prescription. The case involved no loss of earnings.
Staff at a dementia care facility ignored and neglected a woman who fell numerous times. 911 was not called. When her family was notified the following morning, and the resident was finally taken to the hospital, she was found to have several fractures. The firm uncovered ratification after the fact and reckless disregard for the safety of residents. The case settled without lengthy litigation for $875,000.00.
A woman with Alzheimer’s, unable to be cared for by her working family members, was moved to a nursing home. There, she was vulnerable to a sexual predator, with no known history, who was working at the home. The woman was raped and required surgery. She died a short time after the event. The firm obtained insurance coverage at the limits of the existing policies in settlement of this case.
A newborn infant suffered kidney failure and brain damage because of a delay in the obstetrician performing a timely caesarean section. The mother experienced multiple episodes of bleeding while in active labor at the hospital. The health care providers assumed the blood was simply a “bloody show,” which is a normal part of the birthing process. Despite evidence of significant distress on the fetal heart monitoring strips, the doctor continued to allow the mother to labor and refused to perform a c-section until approximately two hours later. The infant was blue and floppy at birth, and had lost more than a third of his blood supply. An analysis of the placenta revealed that the baby was suffering from a vasa previa condition which caused his fetal blood vessels to burst as his head pushed against them while he was traversing the birth canal. The infant required a kidney transplant and was unable to tolerate oral feeding and had to be fed through a feeding tube in his stomach. While the child suffered from some developmental delays, including delayed speech, he is able to run, walk, play the drums and enjoy normal activities of daily living. Mulligan, Banham & Findley settled the case and established a special needs trust for the child with an expected payout over the child’s life of approximately $13,000,000. The mother’s own separate claim was settled with a structure that is expected to pay out $530,000 to the mother over the course of her life.
Mulligan, Banham & Findley represented a 19-year-old young woman who suffered painful and debilitating RSD (reflex sympathetic dystrophy ) as a result of a negligent blood draw by a Kaiser employee. The Kaiser phlebotomist attempted multiple unsuccessful blood draws and probed the needle below the skin in a manner which fell below the standard of care. Kaiser vehemently contested liability, causation and damages, acknowledging only $30,000 in damages if the case were to be proved. Mulligan, Banham & Findley represented the client through arbitration and was awarded $1,561,480 in present value (over $8.8 million total future value).
$1,000,000(cash) $3,000,000(annuity) - Administration of Wrong Medication Resulting in Paraplegia/Seizures
The client was a normal, healthy, very pregnant woman in her late 20′s who was in active labor and about to give birth to her first child. She walked into Defendant’s hospital as a routine obstetrical case. As labor progressed, the Defendant anesthesiologist initiated an epidural anesthesia into the woman’s spine resulting in immediate dense numbness. Within two hours, she was permanently paralyzed. The next day, she began to experience seizures. Mulligan, Banham & Findley aggressively litigated the case and discovered that it was likely that the anesthesiologist administered the wrong medicine into the patient’s spine. While no one was ever able to identify exactly what medicine was given, experts were able to piece together the pathway the toxic medicine took as it traveled through the woman’s spinal column, up to her brain and established that the timing of the woman’s injuries coincided with the timing of the metabolism of the drug in her system. Fortunately, a child was born healthy with no ascertainable side effects from the anesthesia. However, following childbirth, the client failed to regain the functional use of her legs or full control over her bowel and bladder. As a result of her paralysis, even normal daily activities including dressing, cooking and childcare could not be routinely performed without maximum effort. Mulligan, Banham & Findley created a video showing the client’s altered daily living experiences with the intent of conveying this information to the jury. After doggedly pursuing the defendants in this case, on the eve of trial, Mulligan, Banham & Findley achieved a settlement of approximately $1,000,000 present cash value, in an annuity format with future value of over $3,000,000.
Mulligan, Banham & Findley represented a woman who suffered massive brain damage as a result of a mis-diagnosis and administration of wrong medicine. The woman went to the emergency room complaining of a long-standing history of asthma, shortness of breath and a cough. The doctor diagnosed acute bronchial asthma with asthmatic bronchitis. She was admitted to the hospital. Later that same day, she became agitated and she found it progressively more difficult to breathe. Because her blood pressure was rising, a doctor instructed a nurse to give the patient Inderal. Inderal is a medication that is not supposed to be given to people with asthma because it is known to cause respiratory arrest. After the drug was given to her, the woman experienced respiratory distress. Five hours lapsed between the onset of the respiratory distress and the arrival of a doctor to evaluate this patient. During this void, the woman’s respiratory distress mushroomed into a respiratory crisis and an emergency a code blue was called. One of the defendant doctors proceeded to heavily sedate the patient, but then waited too long to intubate her in an effort to give her oxygen. The heavy sedation resulted in her suffering a cardiac arrest and the woman lapsing into a coma. This woman now remains a blind quadriplegic capable of only limited speech. However, she is fully oriented and her cognitive skills have only been mildly impaired. She is totally unable to care for herself. The woman was awarded $2,000,000 present cash value, with a total guaranteed payout of over $3,000,000.
Mulligan, Banham & Findley represented a 40 year old woman against an eye surgeon who cut the flap too short in performing LASIK surgery on the woman’s eye. The standard of practice required the surgeon to stop the procedure and allow the eye to heal before proceeding. He did not abort the procedure. As a result, there was too much tissue removed from the woman’s cornea. The woman suffered visual disturbances that exacerbated pre-existing headaches. The headaches made it difficult for the woman to perform her job of selling high end office furniture. Three subsequent surgeries improved her condition, but with a contact lens, she is still only able to tolerate part-time work. Plaintiff sent a §998 offer to the defense for $784,681.97. The defense offered nothing. Following a binding arbitration in front of Hon. Raymond Zvetina, an arbitration award was rendered against the defendant in the amount of award of $1,288,941. During post-arbitration hearings, the case settled for $1,400,000, representing the award, costs and interest.
A 36-year-old computer network engineer who was left with grossly exacerbated astigmatism in one eye after a technician made a transcription error on the setting of a machine during routine LASIK surgery. The error was undetected by the surgeon. As a result of the error and resultant change in his astigmatism, he suffered severe vision problems in one eye and debilitating headaches. Glasses, contact lenses and tear duct plugs did not adequately correct the problems and the client finally was required to undergo a cornea transplant. Five of the countrys top ophthalmological surgeons gave deposition testimony either as treating physicians or as experts for both sides. Ultimately, attorneys Mulligan, Banham & Findley were able to obtain a joint lump sum settlement of $1,000,000 from the employer of the technician and from the original surgeon.
A 56-year-old man suffered irreparable kidney failure as a result of consuming herbs contaminated with aristolochic acid. Suit was brought against the herbal supplement provider who imported and distributed the herbs as well as the health care provider who sold the herbs. Defendants claimed the Plaintiff’s injuries were the result of taking Ibuprofin and prescribed medications rather than the herbs. Mulligan, Banham & Findley retained some of the country’s leading experts in the specific areas in dispute, including the leading physician who published extensively on the issue of this particular herb causing renal failure. After disclosure of these experts’ opinions to the Defendants, Mulligan, Banham & Findley successfully resolved during mediation for $2,000,000.
A 17-year-old girl went to the doctor complaining of a lump on her collarbone. The doctor attempted to biopsy the lump but he neglected to realize that the scalpel had torn the girl’s esophagus. Over the course of the next two days and while still hospitalized, the girl developed shortness of breath, an inability to swallow, and increased pain in her throat and chest.The surgeon’s care and treatment of this patient fell below the standard of care in his failure to make a timely diagnosis and render immediate treatment of the esophageal tear. As a result of the surgeons negligence and delay in diagnosis of the esophageal tear, she required extensive multiple surgeries to reconstruct her esophagus. Mulligan, Banham & Findley was able to resolve the case without litigation for the amount of $475,000.
A 51-year-old man twice presented to his doctors with symptoms of chest and arm pain. Without conducting any cardiac work-up whatsoever, the physician assumed the symptoms were associated with gastric reflux, and the patient was prescribed Tagamet. A few months later the man died of coronary artery artherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). An expert cardiologist testified that given the autopsy results, there is a very high degree of probability that if the appropriate cardiac work up had been performed and treatment rendered, the man’s life would have been spared. Mulligan, Banham & Findley received $400,000.00 for his surviving widow and child.
A 70-year-old man was taken to surgery for the laparoscopic removal of his gallbladder. The surgeon was not able to remove the gallbladder through the scope, so he resorted to an open procedure on his abdomen. Throughout the rest of the operation the surgeon had problems controlling bleeding. Four units of blood were given during the surgery. Blood loss during the operation was reported to be two and one-half liters.Although there were many red flags indicating postoperative bleeding might continue, the team of surgeons took over four hours to diagnosis bleeding in the ICU and to get the patient back to the operating room. While in the ICU, the patient received at least seven liters of intravenous fluids to maintain his blood pressure which often ran as low as 59/40. The heart rate was persistently rapid and the blood count continued to drop in spite of continued transfusions. After several hours of unstable vital signs, the decision was finally made to take him back to the operating room. The surgeon re-opened the abdomen only to find massive bleeding. There was a hole in the mesenteric vein. Fifteen units of blood, two units of fresh frozen plasma, six units of platelets and approximately 15 liters of crystalloid were given. It was much too little and much too late. The patient died on the operating room table.An autopsy was performed and the medical examiner opined that death was attributed to operative and postoperative hemorrhage from the liver and the mesentery associated with the surgery. Mulligan, Banham & Findley received $600,000 on behalf of the widow and adult child.
A woman presented to her HMO with complaints of pain and tenderness on the left side of her throat, in the area of her thyroid gland. She was diagnosed with stress and given Prozac. She continued to return to her primary care doctor and to complain of tenderness and pain in her throat region for over ten years. No tests were ordered and she was not referred to any specialists. Finally, she moved and changed primary care doctors. Only then was she finally referred to an otolaryngologist (ENT doctor) who ordered a fine needle biopsy. The patient was then diagnosed with Stage IV medullary thyroid carcinoma (cancer).Mulligan, Banham & Findley retained one of the world’s foremost experts on this particular type of cancer. After the expert was deposed, the case settled for $1,050,000, present cash value (with a total expected payout of approximately double this amount of $2,000,000 to the woman’s minor child over the course of the child’s life as well as to this 53-year-old woman).
A 56-year-old retired man was admitted to a hospital with a diagnosis of bilateral pneumonia. He became critically ill and could no longer breathe for himself. He would have survived the pneumonia but for a series of deadly medical errors. Doctors delayed in performing a tracheostomy, which is important to produce a secure airway free of obstructing secretions. After this tube was placed too late, it was left in place too long making it prone to obstruction. A mucus plug formed which caused such an obstruction. This is an event, which should be diagnosed rapidly, and definitive treatment taken immediately. It was not. Brain damage occurred. When the plug was finally observed and cleared, the attending doctor mistakenly placed the tube back into the esophagus (a tube going to the stomach), rather than back into the windpipe. No oxygen went to the blood or brain. The man went into brain death. Mulligan, Banham & Findley successfully brought a federal tort claim and were able to negotiate a settlement of $800,000 for the widow and surviving sons.
A 39-year-old woman suffered permanent pain and damage to her jaw as a result of a dentist drilling the hole for four dental implants too deeply, perforating the trigeminal nerves on both sides of the woman’s face. The dentist then proceeded to place the wrong sized posts for the implants. As a result of his incompetence, the dentist caused a loss of sensation on the lower portion of both sides of his patient’s face. Mulligan, Banham & Findley was able to settle the case without the need for any litigation, for the amount of $475,000.
Mulligan, Banham & Findley handled the case of a horrific death of a man at a North County nursing home, who burned to death after being left alone with an oxygen tank turned on. An aide gave him cigarettes and then left him alone. We were able to find that a surveillance camera on site recorded the tragic event in full, and the aide did not return until well after the death of the man. We were able to secure and obtain the tape and resolve the case for a large confidential settlement on behalf of the family, after utilizing prior events and DHS records to show previous citations and notices of deficiency in the home.
Mulligan, Banham & Findley successfully resolved another case for a large confidential settlement, involving the death of an elderly mother of 5 boys relating to neglect at a local nursing home. Failure to properly attend to her and treat her diabetes led to her very sad demise. She was the cornerstone of the family, and her loss was very significant to her children and small grandchildren. We worked with the 5 adult sons doggedly pursuing justice on behalf of this family against a large chain with unlimited resources, eventually reaching the top levels of management out of state. In the end, we achieved a settlement which allowed each of these young men to walk away with a significant amount of money, and were able to work with them and Medicare to avoid a large Medicare lien, which is very frequently a factor present in these cases which can be an obstacle to negotiations.
In another case, Mulligan, Banham & Findley represented two women who lost their mother while she was still a very vibrant elder, working at her church and active with her friends and daughters, dancing, etc. She broke her hip which caused her to be at one nursing home where substandard care was received. A fall while unprotected there, caused the daughters who were very caring to get her switched to another nursing home, where the care went from bad to worse. Their mother passed away within a two month period, with decubitis ulcers and sepsis. Multiple defendants and defense counsel were involved, each as expected pointing the finger at the other. After much discovery and multiple mediations, this hard-fought case settled for a significant large confidential amount, and we were able to cement the Medicare lien and get it taken care of early, which is important since that entity can present obstacles to settlement and recovery if not dealt with persistently and on time.
Mulligan, Banham & Findley also represented an elderly lady who was being transported by wheelchair van, when the driver failed to secure her properly and she tipped over and her neck was broken. There were unusual issues presented as the case had multiple overlapping areas relating to elder law, liens, common carrier transport, treatment in a nursing home after the fact, etc. The woman is still alive and thriving at a very old age. Mulligan, Banham & Findley was able to settle this case and completely resolve the Medicare lien.
As a result of careless transport, by an insufficient number of attendants, a lady fell off a wheelchair van onto her head. At first, the defendant tried to claim that she had simply slipped out of her chair on a flat surface onto the ground. After a long period of discovery, it was finally admitted that she had been dropped from a height. This accounted for her injuries and need for surgery. The woman is now set with an annuity for life which will take care of her needs and provide her everything she wants.
An elderly widow, entrusted by her adult children to a for-profit nursing home due to the effects of a stroke and total dependence for daily needs, was raped by an unattended and improperly supervised male resident. The resident had prior dementia, pyschosis, sexual delusions, combativeness, acted-upon sexual tendencies, prior assaults and public genital exposures, all known to Defendants’ staff and managing agents, and all while in the Defendant home. He was allowed to wander unchecked throughout the facility. This helpless and vulnerable woman died as a result a short while after the rape. Defendants fought the case under theories that they are not responsible for the torts or crimes of their residents, that there was not enough evidence to show the home knew or should have known that anyone was in danger. After a hard battle with multiple Defendants, Mulligan, Banham & Findley was able to reach this good settlement for the benefit of the adult children.
Mulligan, Banham & Findley represented a man whose eyesight was ruined by a local advertising eye surgeon. The man was still able to work and his visual acuity was intact, but he had to have accommodations, and had trouble driving at night, as well as ghosting. In an arbitration, the firm was able to prove false advertising. Through a long and arduous course of discovery where the doctor tried to hide the facts and presented manufactured evidence, our firm persevered and won the case. The case was settled confidentially after an arbitration award in favor of our client. Importantly, the advertising was corrected, protecting the public.
A woman presented to a hospital with signs of increasing infection. Through failure to diagnose and treat the infection, the woman ended up having necrosis to tissue, and eventually lost fingers and had other injuries that hampered mobility. Although the cap on damages in California prevented her from receiving full justice for all of her pain and suffering, a settlement at mediation will provide for her needs for the rest of her life.
Mulligan, Banham & Findley represented a man and wife for failure to diagnose skin cancer. Although the cancer had advanced to a later stage by the time of the delayed discovery, the man was able to beat the odds and live a happy, healthy life. The family was extremely pleased with this settlement.
Attorney Brian Findley went to trial on a case which settled mid-trial relating to cutting of the common bile duct during surgery. In a result that was especially satisfying, this amount will help care for the client in the future. The result was a recognition that the case, which previously had zero offers, had much merit. The result was a vindication for the client and family.
In a case against a sports doctor, a physician’s assistant and a hospital, Mulligan, Banham & Findley obtained a settlement with the hospital and success for a man who spent his working life on his feet. He was unable to work as well as he could before, after neglect caused him to need an amputation on one leg. Although confidential, a battle between insurers after the case ended, created publicity about some of the false testimony given by a defendant in the case, which was found by the firm after subpoenas of information and rigorous pursuit of receipts, cell phone records and testimony of witnesses.
A woman suffered a severe neck injury in a traumatic vehicle accident, and showed cognitive deficiencies that were subtle and did not appear on CT scans. She also had hearing and balance issues which were subtle and disputed by defendant. Mulligan, Banham & Findley worked on the case for years and eventually resolved the case for this impressive settlement.
Mulligan, Banham & Findley successfully resolved a case of a man with Stage IV cancer. Defendants argued the mass had already spread at the time they could and should have detected it, and that this cancer had an abysmal survival rate. Despite that argument, defense also argued the man would likely live a long time and therefore the case should not be sped up for trial. Defense strenuously fought damages. Future wrongful death damages were included and the case settled for just under $1M, allowing the Plaintiff and his family needed time to enjoy the benefits of the settlement.
This firm represented the family of a man who died as a result of delay in diagnosis of malignant melanoma, resolving with future payments of his loss of earning capacity for his life expectancy, as well as damages for wrongful death.
Along with co-counsel, Mulligan, Banham & Findley represented a young family whose child suffered from cerebral palsy and quadriplegia after failure to diagnose pre-eclampsia in the mother. The case resolved for lump sums and structured settlements which will pay into a trust for the remainder of the child’s life, and has a full life expectancy pay out of over $5M.
The firm won a trial in a motorcycle crash case with disputed liability. The rider had surgery to his leg and was very happy with the result achieved at the end of this case.
A child suffered permanent injury as a result of failure to timely diagnose a hip problem. If the standard of care had been followed and the boy’s hip dysplasia timely diagnosed, his treatment would have likely been relatively uninvasive and short-term, leading to a full recovery. As a result of the settlement crafted among multiple defendants by Mulligan, Banham & Findley, the boy was able to get needed therapies, a pool built at home for his swim therapies, and also received a large lump sum in trust and a life-time pay-out annuity which full life expectancy payout far beyond the present value cost.