By Virginia Lawyers Weekly
October 22, 2007
Five-year-old Mattie Nauman went to Page Memorial Hospital in respiratory distress. The defendant emergency room physician arranged for the child to be transported to the University of Virginia Health System where she could receive more specialized care, but in the three hours it took for an ambulance to reach the hospital to pick up the patient, the defendant failed to respond to profound respiratory distress, cyanosis, dehydration and a bacterial infection that was progressing to sepsis.
Plaintiff contended that the standard of care required the defendant to intubate the patient, to provide mechanical ventilatory support, to aggressively re-hydrate the patient, and to provide antibiotic therapy. In the absence of such care, she died shortly after arriving at UVA.
At the outset of the case, the defendants objected to Charlottesville venue. Plaintiff asserted two bases for venue: First, that all or part of the cause of action arose in Charlottesville, since – Charlottesville is where the death occurred. Thus, Charlottesville was a permissible venue under Code Sect. 8.01.262. Second, that the defendant’s duty to the patient continued until the patient was delivered into the hands of the receiving physicians at UVA. Thus, since the patient was transported into the city receiving therapy initiated and maintained by the defendant, and since that therapy violated the standard of care, then the negligence also continued into the city of Charlottesville.
The trial judge agreed that all or some of the cause of action arose in Charlottesville and overruled the objection to venue.
Type of Action: Medical malpractice; Wrongful death
Injuries Alleged: Death
Name of Case: Nauman, Administrators v. Samuel et al.
Court: Charlottesville Circuit Court
Case No.: CL05-229
Verdict Date: Aug. 29, 2007
Tried Before: Mediation
Name of Judge: Edward L. Hogshire
Special Damages: $15,000
Experts: David Milzman MD, emergency medicine, Washington, DC; David Munter MD, emergency medicine, Chesapeake; Daniel Benjamin MD, pediatric infectious disease, Durham, NC
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