Hair transplant goes wrong for 70-year-old patient, results in med-mal gross verdict of $2.7 million. Los Angeles County.

Summary

Patient suffers stroke after hair transplant surgery. Pre- and post-op negligence to blame.

The Case

  • Case Name: Ghorban Ali Salmanzadeh v Bosley Medical Group et al.
  • Court and Case Number: : Los Angeles Superior Court/ BC445812
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Tuesday, September 25, 2012
  • Date Action was Filed: Tuesday, August 31, 2010
  • Type of Action: Loss of Consortium, Medical Malpractice
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Terry Green
  • Plaintiffs:
    Ghorban Ali Salmanzadeh, 70, jeweler; Julie Salmanzadeh, spouse.
  • Defendants:
    Bosley Medical Group, Terrence Aragoni, M.D., Bosley Inc.
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $2,720,000 per plaintiff's counsel; $2,515,000 per defense counsel.
  • Net Verdict or Award: $1,200,000 per plainitff's counsel; $1,171,000 per defense counsel. Reduced per MICRA and for contributory fault.
  • Award as to each Defendant:

    Joint and several liability for Bosley Medical Group and Dr. Aragoni.

    Bosley, Inc. defense verdict as to negligence. Nonsuit as to fraud claim for misrepresenting the invasive nature and scope of the hair transplant procedure.

  • Contributory/Comparative Negligence: 45% by Mr. Salmanzadeh, 10% by Mrs. Salmanzadeh
  • Economic Damages:

    Past Medical: $200,000
    Future Medical: $500,000
    Past Wage Loss: $120,000
    Future Wage Loss: $400,000

  • Non-Economic Damages:

    Pain, Suffering & Emotional Distress: $900,000
    Loss of consortium: $600,000

    Both were capped at $250,000 due to MICRA.

  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 4 weeks
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 2 days
  • Jury Polls: 9-3 for plaintiff.
  • Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Both sides filed motion for new trial and JNOV. None of the motions were granted. There were motions to tax costs.

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:
    Peters & Peters by Barbara Peters, Santa Monica
  • Attorney for the Defendant:
    Beach | Whitman | Cowdrey, LLP by Tom Beach and Sean Cowdrey, Oxnard

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
    Hyman Gross, M.D., neurology, Santa Monica
    Sherman Elspas, M.D., anesthesiology, Van Nuys
  • Defendant's Medical Experts:
    Michael Gold, M.D., neurology, Santa Monica
    Donald Mills, M.D., anesthesiology, Orange County
    Sheldon Kabaker, M.D., hair transplantation surgery, Oakland

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    On February 5, 2010, the 70-year-old plaintiff underwent an elective hair transplant procedure. His wife was present for the procedure.

    Dr. Aragoni was the Bosley physician performing the operation. Plaintiff revealed his medical conditions: hypertension, diabetes, and age. Although he was hypertensive at intake, he was given a medication for his blood pressure and the procedure began.

     

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That plaintiff's medical condition prior to surgery put him at a higher risk for stroke and that medical defendants failed to recognize the signs of a stroke.

    That there was no adequate physical exam given and
    only rudimentary history was taken in violation of the standard of care to do a complete physical. There was no patient monitoring of vital signs during the procedure.

    That during the procedure plaintiff began convulsing, but the procedure did not stop and the condition was not diagnosed or treated. That at the time of discharge there was no adequate physical exam, although the patient showed signs of systolic hypertension. Upon leaving he could not get up out of the chair unassisted, could not walk unassisted, and could not talk. He was sent home.

    Expert testimony by Dr. Gross established plaintiff had a stroke at Bosley Medical. The stroke affected the Broca's area of his brain which affects speech as well as his motor areas on the left side of the brain (left middle cerebral artery).

    His condition went undiagnosed for several days, although Mrs. Salmanzadeh's call to Bosley Medical Group resulted in a statement that his failure to come out of anesthesia was a result of pain medications and "not to worry." As a result, Mrs. Salmanzadeh did not take him to the hospital for a few days although he got worse when the pain medication wore off. By then it was too late to administer a clot buster which could have reversed his injury if administered within 3-4 hours of onset of the stroke.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Defendants denied that they caused the stroke, claimed the stroke occurred several days later; claimed they met the standard of care and that Mrs. Salmanzadeh should have taken her husband to the hospital sooner; also that Mr. Salmanzadeh did not take proper care of his hypertension and diabetes.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Stroke of the left middle cerebral artery that was not reversed by clot buster drugs within 3-4 hours as required. Mr. Salmanzadeh has limited speech, is unable to walk without dragging his right leg, has limited ability to write, and has limited ability to communicate. Physical and speech therapy have had limited success. It is believed that he also has some memory impairment. He has difficulty feeding himself and with personal hygiene tasks.

  • Unable to return to work as a jeweler and unable to manage real estate property owned by the couple.

    Wife claimed loss of consortium.

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: $11,000,000 per defense counsel.
  • Defendant Final Offer before Trial: Waiver of costs.

Additional Notes

Court entered judgment on the verdict on April 19, 2013.

Disclaimer

This is not an official court document. While the publisher believes the information to be accurate, the publisher does not guarantee it and the reader is advised not to rely upon it without consulting the official court documents or the attorneys of record in this matter who are listed above.

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