After years of litigation and appeals, Rourke and Blumenthal LLC attorney Kenneth Blumenthal recently secured a $2.3 million settlement on behalf of Mrs. Cynthia Adae, a woman from Midland, Ohio who suffered severe injuries when the physicians at Clinton Memorial Hospital failed to timely diagnose her condition in the summer of 2006. The complaint in Ms. Adae's case alleged in that her doctors failed to recall her to the hospital for treatment or to advise her family physician even after blood tests confirmed the presence of the infection. By the time it was recognized and treated, the spinal epidural abscess had progressed to the extent that Mrs. Adae was rendered permanently disabled and confined to a wheelchair.
The settlement was obtained against the University of Cincinnati, who employed the attending physician at the hospital at the time of Mrs. Adae's admission. The case against UC had previously been tried before the Ohio Court of Claims in 2010, and former Judge Alan C. Travis found that the UC physician had breached the standard of care in failing to timely diagnose and treat the infection. A damages award was entered by the Court of Claims in April of 2012. The case was subsequently appealed to the Tenth District Court of Appeals and to the Ohio Supreme Court, as UC argued that this verdict should be reduced by the amount of a prior settlement that had been reached with Clinton Memorial Hospital in a separate case. In September, after more than six years of litigation, the settlement was reached while the Supreme Court case was still pending.
A Columbus Dispatch article discussing the settlement can be found below.
CINCINNATI - The University of Cincinnati has agreed to pay $2.3 million to a southwestern Ohio woman who said she was left largely paralyzed after doctors failed to properly diagnose her, the state Court of Claims announced yesterday.
The settlement reached last month with Cynthia Adae of Midland comes after a six-year legal battle and does not constitute an admission of guilt by the university.
The university did not immediately return a request for comment yesterday, but attorneys denied the allegations in court documents, saying Adae's condition was the result of other causes.
Adae sued the university, Clinton Memorial Hospital and others in October 2007 after she said doctors failed to diagnose an epidural abscess on her spine when she complained of a limited range of motion in her upper right arm, right shoulder pain, high fevers and a cough, according to the lawsuit.
Doctors failed to recall Adae for treatment after discharging her from the hospital, even after getting the results of blood tests that indicated a serious infection, the lawsuit said.
About a week later, Adae's worsening symptoms were diagnosed at a different hospital and she underwent emergency spinal surgery.
Today, the 57-year-old Adae uses a wheelchair, has limited ability to move her upper body and is completely dependent on her husband, said the couple's attorney, Ken Blumenthal.
Blumenthal said the couple takes comfort in their religion, tries their best to maintain positive attitudes, and continue to run their fruit farm, A & M Farm Orchard, in Midland.
Adae greets the customers while her husband takes care of the physical work, Blumenthal said.
He said the settlement will help them remodel their home to better accommodate Adae's wheelchair and possibly hire a medical worker to help care for her.
"They wanted to know what their future held financially so they could make some determinations," Blumenthal said. "This will give them the wherewithal to get some help."
The couple reached a separate and confidential settlement in 2010 with Clinton Memorial Hospital.
A Court of Claims judge ruled in June 2011 in the case against the university that doctors had been medically negligent and awarded Adae $3.3 million in 2012. The university appealed the judge's decision, but the two sides agreed to settle the matter instead of letting the Ohio Supreme Court rule.