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Mass Torts & Medical Malpractice

Our firm has a long history of successfully representing plaintiffs in mass torts and medical malpractice actions and in prosecuting cases involving complicated surgical or medical problems in a wide variety of medical specialties. We have also represented plaintiffs in claims against pharmaceutical companies for serious personal injuries and death caused by adverse reactions to drugs.

Medical Malpractice

We regularly represent clients in negligence actions against health care providers including doctors, nurses, dentists, psychiatrists, technicians, hospitals and clinics for serious injuries and death caused by failure to administer the proper standard of care. Representative cases include claims alleging:

  • failure to timely diagnose various types of cancer, including breast cancer;
  • mismanagement of labor and delivery;
  • failure to perform adequate prenatal testing or monitoring;
  • improper interpretation of x-rays, MRI’s and other diagnostic procedures;
  • failure to timely diagnose and treat various medical conditions;
  • lack of informed consent to medical procedures;
  • negligent surgery and post-operative care;
  • psychiatric malpractice involving prescribed medications; and
  • hospital malpractice for non-surgical treatment.

Our lawyers have established contacts with nationally recognized experts in virtually every medical specialty. We also have an experienced in-house support staff including personal injury paralegals with more than 15 years of experience reviewing medical records and performing factual investigation.

Medical Device Liability

The firm has represented over 2,300 plaintiffs in litigation against the manufacturers of the diet drug Redux, and has successfully represented a plaintiff in a wrongful death case involving a popular antidepressant drug. We are also representing plaintiffs against the manufacturers of a birth control patch and defective heart devices. We have developed relationships with mass tort lawyers throughout the country, including the two attorneys most prominent in filing Vioxx suits in the United States. This network provides our clients with the benefits of accumulated discovery in similar lawsuits and assists us in selecting the most advantageous forum for clients’ cases. We also have access to world-class experts who can help us evaluate claims and will provide testimonial support for those with merit. Most importantly, our experience in dealing with issues that often arise in mass torts and other sophisticated products litigation enables us to provide highly effective representation to our clients in these complex matters.

In addition to our legal expertise and proven record of success, we offer a high degree of personal attention to each client and each case. We understand the importance of being accessible to our clients, are diligent about keeping them informed, and respond quickly to their questions and concerns.

Representative Matters:

  • $2.9 million settlement of a wrongful-death claim on behalf of the estate of a woman who died after suffering acute liver failure following brief use of a popular antidepressant drug. Although the drug company had warned Canadian physicians and their patients of this potentially life-threatening adverse effect, no such warning had been given to American doctors and their patients, including the decedent;
  • $1.5 million recovery on behalf of a patient (an experienced nurse) who alleged that her obstetrician subjected her to an unnecessary caesarean section despite her request to have a vaginal delivery. After the C-section, the plaintiff suffered severe gastrointestinal complication ultimately leading to several surgeries and post-traumatic stress disorder;
  • $975,000 settlement of a medical malpractice claim involving a 18-year-old man whose orthopedic surgeon failed to timely diagnose and treat compartment syndrome;
  • $950,000 settlement on behalf of the plaintiff in a suit alleging negligent interpretation of a mammogram by the defendant radiologist and failure to diagnose breast cancer, thereby substantially increasing the plaintiff’s risk for recurrence of cancer and diminishing her chance for long-term survival;
  • $900,000 settlement on behalf of plaintiffs' decedent in a wrongful death claim involving a 26-year-old man whose physicians failed to properly diagnose and treat a rare, but potentially fatal, reaction to his anti-psychotic medication;
  • $750,000 settlement on behalf of a 79-year-old plaintiff in a suit against a vascular surgeon for negligent delay in operating on the plaintiff for peripheral vascular disease, resulting in above-the-knee amputation of the left leg, and against anesthesiologist for negligently failing to prevent and properly manage plaintiff’s hypotension during bypass surgery, resulting in paralysis;
  • $1.5 million award in a jury trial of a negligence claim by a 48-year-old male plaintiff against a surgeon for failure to perform a sigmoidoscopy or pre-operative x-ray, prior to the performance of a sigmoid colon resection, to ascertain that the plaintiff’s rectum and colon were free from all residual barium from prior barium enemas. Following the operation, the plaintiff developed a severe intra-abdominal abscess, which was not properly treated and resulted in permanent loss of bowel function and a permanent colostomy;
  • $750,000 settlement of wrongful death claim against an anesthesiologist for failure to properly manage the decedent's airway during routine gynecological surgery, leading to loss of oxygen, irreversible brain damage and death;
  • $700,000 settlement of a claim against two doctors for failure to diagnose a leaking cerebral aneurysm in a 45-year-old male patient, resulting in his death from a subarachnoid hemorrhage three weeks later. The decedent was originally seen in the ambulatory care clinic by the physician on duty, who attributed his symptoms to a virus and prescribed Tylenol with codeine. Two days later, the decedent was seen by the second defendant physician for continued, unabated headache, stiff neck and nausea, and was again diagnosed as suffering from a “viral syndrome.” Plaintiff’s experts were prepared to testify that the decedent was experiencing a “warning leak” which could have been detected by CT scan or lumbar puncture and that had such a diagnosis been made, more likely than not, the aneurysm would have been surgically repaired and the decedent would have made a full recovery;
  • $1.4 million recovery in a wrongful death claim involving a five-year-old girl who died after her right atrium was perforated by a catheter inserted during the course of her hospitalization at a Boston hospital. The child was being treated for serious but non-life-threatening orthopedic injuries from a lawnmower accident. Her parents claimed that the physicians in charge of her care failed to timely recognize and respond to the complication, permitting pericardial effusion which then resulted in cardiac tampanade causing the child’s death;
  • $700,000 settlement for an 88-year-old woman who became blind as a result of her physician’s failure to promptly diagnose and treat her temporal arteritis, a blood-vessel inflammation that can lead to loss of vision if not promptly diagnosed and treated with steroids;
  • $975,000 settlement of medical malpractice claim involving 18-year-old man whose orthopedic surgeon failed to timely diagnose and treat compartment syndrome.

For more information regarding our medical malpractice and pharmaceutical liability experience, and how we can help you achieve your goals, please contact Michael S. Appel (Chair), at appel@srbc.com or 617-227-3030.

Related Publications:

May 01, 2014 -
Tony Agudelo on Consolidation of Mass Tort Cases
In an article in the May 2014 issue of the Massachusetts Bar Association's Lawyers Journal, SRBC's Tony Agudelo writes about the recent history, here in Massachusetts, of consolidation of mass-tort cases in federal Multidistrict ...
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Related News:

October 26, 2016 -
Title Withheld
Partner David A. Barry has obtained a $975,000 medical-malpractice settlement for a 18-year-old male plaintiff who fractured his leg during a soccer game and developed "acute compartment syndrome," a condition that can develop after trauma and results in insufficient blood supply to muscles and ...
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October 21, 2016 -
Nineteen Sugarman Rogers Attorneys Recognized as "Super Lawyers" and "Rising Stars"

Nineteen lawyers from Sugarman Rogers have been included in this year’s edition of the Massachusetts "Super Lawyers" and "Rising Stars" lists. 
Sixteen attorneys have been named to the 2016 "Super Lawyers" list, an honor based on peer review and professional ...
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September 21, 2016 -
A Conversation with the Legends: Themes of the Case, Opening Statements & Closing Arguments
Senior partner David A. Barry joins the third installment of MCLE's groundbreaking series "...
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September 08, 2016 -
Michael S. Appel Appointed Co-Chair of the BBA Insurance and Tort Litigation Section
SRBC partner Michael S. Appel was recently appointed to serve as co-chair of the Boston Bar Association’s Insurance and Tort Litigation Section.

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August 15, 2016 -
Twelve Sugarman Rogers Partners Named 2017 Best Lawyers in America
Sugarman Rogers is pleased to announce that twelve of its attorneys – over 70 percent of the firm’s partners – have been selected for inclusion in the 2017 edition of  ...
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April 25, 2016 -
Michael S. Appel: MDLs From the Plaintiff, Defense, and Judicial Perspectives
Multidistrict litigation involves not just practices and considerations that are unique to itself, as compared to other areas of litigation, but it also offers unique opportunities to lawyers in many non-litigation fields. Join partner ...
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December 11, 2015 -
Title Withheld
SRBC partner David Barry has obtained a $900,000 settlement for the estate of a 39-year-old woman who died after undergoing surgery to remove uterine fibroids. The patient suffered from hypertension, diabetes, moderate obesity and end-stage renal disease, for which she had been on dialysis ...
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December 11, 2015 -
Title Withheld
SRBC partner David Barry has obtained a $700,000 settlement for an 88-year-old woman who became blind as a result of her physician’s failure to promptly diagnose and treat her temporal arteritis, a blood-vessel inflammation that can lead to loss of vision if not promptly diagnosed and treated with ...
Learn more

November 06, 2015 -
SRBC Lawyers Recognized as Massachusetts Super Lawyers

Twenty lawyers from SRBC have been included in this year’s edition of Massachusetts Super Lawyers. Super Lawyers annually publishes the results of a peer-survey and independent-research study designed to identify leading lawyers by state. In this year’s listings, SRBC ...
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August 21, 2015 -
Thirteen SRBC Partners Named to The Best Lawyers in America 2016 List
Thirteen partners from the Boston-based civil litigation firm Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C. received top rankings in the 2016 edition of The Best Lawyers in America® for their skills and expertise in their respective practice areas. 

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January 16, 2015 -
Tony Agudelo Moderates MBA Program "Communication, Apology and Resolution"
Tony Agudelo will moderate a program on January 21st entitled "Communication, Apology and Resolution (CARe)." Panelists will discuss how the CARe Program can be an alternative to medical malpractice litigation, explain how the program works in Massachusetts and describe the benefits for both you and your ...
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August 18, 2014 -
Fourteen Partners Earned Title "2015 Best Lawyers" and One Partner Named "Lawyer of the Year"
Fourteen SRBC partners have been recognized by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2015. In addition, David Barry earned special recognition as "Boston Lawyer of the Year" for Product Liability Litigation-Defendants. ...
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November 04, 2013 -
SRBC Ranked "First Tier" in Boston in 10 Practice Areas

The 2014 edition of the "Best Law Firms" rankings by U.S. News and Best Lawyers rates SRBC a "First Tier" firm in Boston in ten of its practice areas:

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August 15, 2013 -
Fifteen SRBC Partners Named “2014 Best Lawyers” and Two Ranked “Lawyer of the Year”
Fifteen SRBC partners have been ranked at the top of their profession, including two partners earning special recognition as “Lawyer of the Year,” in the 2014 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Best Lawyers is the oldest peer-review publication in the legal ...
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November 13, 2012 -
SRBC Ranks High in "Best Law Firms" Survey
SRBC has received first-tier rankings in nine of its practice areas in the 2013 U.S. News/Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” survey. The firm was recognized as a National Tier 1 firm in Product ...
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October 24, 2012 -
22 SRBC Attorneys Recognized as "Super Lawyers"
Twenty-two SRBC lawyers have been listed among the top attorneys in Massachusetts in the annual Super Lawyers rankings.

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September 12, 2012 -
Fifteen SRBC Lawyers Named Best Lawyers in America
Fifteen of SRBC's partners have been selected for inclusion in the 2013 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Best Lawyers calls itself “the definitive guide to legal excellence in the United States.” The publication annually ...
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October 26, 2011 -
Sixteen SRBC Partners Named 2011 Massachusetts Super Lawyers
Massachusetts Super Lawyers, an annual peer-review and independent-research survey designed to identify the top five percent of lawyers in the state, has named 16 SRBC partners to its 2011 listing. Several of the partners were also distinguished on shortlists of top lawyers ...
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October 07, 2011 -
SRBC Lawyers Settle Weight-Loss Class Action
SRBC partners David Barry and Andrew Levin have negotiated a class-action settlement on behalf of consumers of dietary supplement products marketed to promote weight loss in women. The class-action suit alleged that the products at issue, including "Slimquick" and others, were misleadingly advertised and ...
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September 09, 2011 -
Thirteen SRBC Lawyers Named to Best Lawyers in America
The 2012 edition of The Best Lawyers in America, described as "the definitive guide to legal excellence in the U.S." and based on a nationwide peer survey of more than 3.9 million lawyers, has named 13 SRBC partners to its annual list. The partners, and the Best Lawyers ...
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May 04, 2011 -
Title Withheld
SRBC partners David Barry and Tony Agudelo have obtained additional settlements in an ongoing case on behalf of the estate of a severely abused child who eventually sustained a traumatic brain-stem injury that put her in a coma for several months, and left her permanently and deeply ...
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December 06, 2010 -
Title Withheld
SRBC partners David Barry and Tony Agudelo have settled a medical malpractice case they brought on behalf of the estate of a 55 year-old woman who died following surgery for colon cancer, when she developed a leakage at the surgical site which her doctors misdiagnosed as a heart problem.

October 20, 2010 -
SRBC Partners Named "Super Lawyers"
Sixteen of SRBC's partners have been recognized as Massachusetts Super Lawyers in the 2010 edition of the annual peer-review survey that seeks to identify the top five percent of lawyers in the state. Many of the partners were also ranked among the very top lawyers ...
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October 04, 2010 -
U.S. News: SRBC Among Boston's Best Law Firms in Seven Practice Areas
According to survey results newly published by U.S. News and Best Lawyers seeking to identify the "Best Law Firms" in a number of metropolitan areas, SRBC ranks in the "first tier" of Boston law firms in ...
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October 02, 2010 -
Eleven SRBC Partners Named to Annual "Best Lawyers in America" List

Eleven SRBC partners have been named to the 2011 edition of The Best Lawyers in America, an annual publication that calls itself "the definitive guide to legal excellence in the United States." This year's selections are based on surveys in which more than 3.1 million leading lawyers were ...
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August 17, 2010 -
$1.9 Million Partial Settlement for Estate of Abused Child
SRBC partners David Barry and Tony Agudelo have obtained a $1.9 settlement with two of the defendants in an ongoing case on behalf of the estate of a severely abused child who eventually sustained a traumatic brain-stem injury that put her in a coma for several months, and left her permanently and ...
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April 15, 2010 -
Michael Appel Wins Retrial for Medical Malpractice Plaintiff
SRBC partner Michael Appel recently succeeded in persuading a superior court judge that a jury's verdict for the defendant doctor in a medical malpractice case was "against the weight of the evidence," such that the plaintiff was entitled to a new trial.

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May 01, 2009 -
Tony Agudelo to Appear at Bar Association Health Law Conference
On June 5th, SRBC partner Tony Agudelo will be a speaker at the 2009 Massachusetts Bar Association ...
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September 16, 2008 -
SRBC and Co-Counsel File Fraud Suit On Behalf of Consumers of Dietary Supplements
Consumers in sixteen states have filed lawsuits against Canadian company Wellnx Life Sciences, which markets and sells three dietary supplements throughout the United States, and against its owners and senior managers. The cases, which are pending in federal courts and consolidated in U.S. ...
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September 08, 2008 -
Michael Appel Elected to American Board of Trial Advocates
SRBC partner Michael Appel was recently elected to membership in the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). Founded in 1958, ABOTA is a national association of trial lawyers and judges dedicated to the preservation of the right to civil trial by jury. Membership is ...
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