We Have Faith in Justice

We understand that most people trust they will get the care they need when they walk into a doctor's office or a hospital. No one who entrusts their health and well-being to a medical expert anticipates a catastrophe. At Robins Kaplan LLP, we advocate for people experiencing pain, suffering and loss because medical malpractice has changed their lives forever.

We Embrace Hope

We take a stand for what is right and bring a different kind of healing to those whom medicine has failed. Many of our medical malpractice lawyers have decades of experience understanding and representing individuals and families who have suffered a devastating outcome as a result of medical negligence. Lawyers Chris Messerly, Peter Schmit, and Philip Sieff are consistently named Super Lawyers and they are listed in Best Lawyers in America. Some of our lawyers have appeared on CBS News, Good Morning America (ABC), Dateline NBC, and other news programs.

While no one can ever make things the way they used to be, our clients often find that access to justice brings them a sense of relief and security.

We Believe in You

We understand that a serious medical wrongdoing causes deep personal pain. Our on-staff, medical analysts have heard heartbreaking stories told by optimistic people who trusted a medical professional only to wake up one day and find their lives would never be the same again. If you find yourself facing similar circumstances, we are here to listen.

We recognize that injured people rarely have the money to pay for an expensive lawsuit, so we have made it a practice to underwrite all of the costs of medical malpractice cases, and to accept payment only if our clients are successful in obtaining a recovery against the defendant. To contact a medical malpractice lawyer for a free case evaluation, please call 1.800.552.7115 (toll-free) or please fill out the form on the right.

Our attorneys handle matters primarily in Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. 

Selected Results*

  • $20.6 Million Wrongful Death Verdict in Bermingham v. Emergency Care Consultants, P.A. Represented the family of a 30-year-old woman who went to an emergency room with a fever and nausea three days after giving birth to her first child. The nurse practitioner defendant ignored lab tests showing that the woman had sepsis (a severe systemic infection) and sent her home. Twelve hours later, the woman was rushed back to the same emergency room, where she died. A jury returned a verdict in the amount of $20.6 million, which is the largest wrongful death verdict of any kind in state history.* Bermingham v. Emergency Care Consultants, P.A.

  • Settled a claim for a woman who suffered loss of significant portions of all four limbs. The case settled for $18 million.

  • Settled a medical negligence case involving a Midwest hospital, wherein the released parties’ alleged care and treatment of a mother during labor and delivery resulted in developmental delays and cerebral palsy for their child. The case settled for $4.25 million.

  • Represented a 51-year-old woman who suffered a catastrophic brain injury following a failed tracheostomy procedure. The woman had undergone surgery at a Minnesota hospital to repair a brain hemorrhage, which was by all accounts successful though she still required ventilatory support for breathing. About a week after the surgery, doctors in the hospital performed a procedure called a bedside percutaneous tracheostomy to allow for longer-term ventilator support while the woman recovered. During the procedure a large artery in the woman’s neck was severely damaged, leading to massive loss of blood and a global brain injury. She is left catastrophically impaired, blind and totally dependent on others for round-the-clock care. The case settled for $9.5 million.

  • Obtained a $1.25 million settlement for a now 69-year-old Minnesota woman who experienced a severe massive intracranial hemorrhage on the left side of her brain. Once the hemorrhage was identified the defendant neurosurgeon failed to remove most of it because he operated on the wrong side of the brain. Defendant doctor denied any wrong doing. The client experienced bilateral ataxia (lack of voluntary coordination of muscle movement), bilateral dysmetria (lack of coordination and inability to gauge distance leading to “overshooting” and “undershooting” the intended position), balance and walking difficulties, and partial dysarthria (difficulty articulating words) because the defendant doctor failed to remove the hemorrhage timely and injured healthy brain tissue when the doctor was operating on the wrong side of the brain. Defendant doctor argued that our client’s deficits would have been the same because the severe hemorrhage caused our clients deficits and they were not caused by the doctor.

  • Obtained a $2,500,000 settlement in a medical malpractice case involving the survival action and death of a young woman.

  • A 49-year-old father sought treatment for chest pains and related symptoms. He was released from care with no diagnosis or directions for further care. He died the next day and the cause of death was determined to be heart disease. The firm obtained a $1.475 million settlement to help care for the man’s surviving wife and provide education expenses for his surviving children.

  • Medical negligence occurring during the delivery of a baby boy caused cerebral palsy and other profound injuries. As a result the boy will never live independently and will always require significant medical and rehabilitative interventions. The $1.45 million settlement obtained on his behalf allows his parents to continue caring for their son at home and also allowed them to modify their home to make it handicapped accessible. In addition, the settlement reimbursed the state for funds it provided to help care for the child.

  • A 37-year-old father of three died after he was misdiagnosed with bronchitis while having a heart attack. The firm obtained a $2 million to provide the ongoing needs of his surviving wife and children.

  • A baby girl suffered irreversible neurological damage when the doctor and hospital involved in her delivery confused the baby’s heart-rate with her mother’s, leading to decision not to perform C-section. The $2 million settlement obtained allows the girl to remain under the care of her parents and receive the specialized services her complex medical condition requires.

  • The failure to properly treat a mother’s gestational diabetes during delivery caused a baby to suffer profound, life-changing injuries. The firm obtained a $2.2 million settlement which provides for the girl’s highly specialized care needs.

  • Settled a malpractice case that involved a 35-year-old father of three who died mysteriously less than 12 hours after having gallbladder surgery. The autopsy gave no clues, simply concluding that there was “no anatomical cause of death.” After an extensive investigation, Brandon and his team learned the man had died from “opioid-induced respiratory depression” – he had received significant but certainly not toxic levels of pain medication in the overnight hours, was left unmonitored, and slipped into a deep sleep from which he never woke up. Brandon and his team proved that the hospital’s policies governing post-operative monitoring were inadequate, and that the staff had violated even the inadequate education and training that the hospital had provided. The case settled shortly before trial for $7.3 million, providing future financial security for the man’s wife and three young children.

  • Represented a 43-year-old woman who suffered a catastrophic injury after what should have been a relatively simple surgical procedure. The woman lost all use of her dominant arm, developed an unrelentingly painful nerve disorder, and was forced to withdraw from her Ph.D. program at the University of Minnesota. The case was settled for $5.075 million.

  • Represented a fifty-five year old woman who was paralyzed from the waist down as a result of a bleeding complication that took place during back surgery. The case against the hospital nursing staff was settled, and the case against the woman’s anesthesia providers proceeded to trial in Hennepin County. Brandon took over as lead counsel just a month before the trial began. The jury returned a verdict of $6.85 million; the recovery will allow the woman to enjoy high-quality care and be relatively independent for the rest of her life.

  • Represented a three-year old boy from North Dakota who suffered a severe neurological injury when his skull was fractured during delivery. The child’s mother was in labor for several days, and the hospital’s nursing staff failed to keep the obstetrician and nurse midwife informed of dangerous changes in the baby’s heart rate during the final hours of labor. This delay led to a crisis and emergency cesarean section, during which the fracture occurred. The case involved complex claims against the obstetrician, the nurse midwife, and the nursing staff of the hospital. The firm successfully settled the claims against the obstetrician and nurse midwife for the limits of their insurance, $3 million. The claims against the hospital staff settled shortly before trial for an additional $1 million, providing life-long resources for the little boy and his family.

  • Represented a twenty-five year old woman who suffered a stroke after having a chiropractic neck manipulation. With hard work and lots of support from her family the woman made a fairly good recovery, but was left with permanent limitations in her physical abilities. The case settled before trial for $950,000.

  • Represented the family of a young toddler who died under suspicious circumstances at the home of his day care provider in Fargo. After the county declined to prosecute the day care provider, the family looked for justice through a civil lawsuit. The case settled shortly after the lawsuit was filed for a confidential sum.

  • Represented a thirty-nine year old woman who became pregnant following a failed tubal ligation. Her child was born with severe disabilities, ultimately dying shortly after her third birthday. During discovery it became evident that the woman’s doctor knew of test results that indicated the tubal ligation may have failed, but chose not to inform the patient of the risk of pregnancy. The firm successfully argued that the doctor’s disregard of the woman’s right to make informed decisions about her own health care warranted punitive damages. The case settled shortly before trial for $3 million.

  • Represented the family of a six-day old infant who died during a medical procedure. They ultimately negotiated a $1 million settlement for the little girl’s mother, father, and older sister.

  • Handled Wesely v. Flor, an appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court involving the interpretation of the "safe harbor" provision in Minnesota's medical malpractice expert witness disclosure statute. A unanimous Supreme Court ruled in favor of the firm’s client and preserved an important protection for injured individuals across the state.

  • Obtained a settlement for a three-year-old child who suffered a hypoxic brain injury during her birth. When labor stalled, the obstetrician made repeated attempts at a vacuum delivery. When these attempts failed, instead of ordering an immediate C-section, the obstetrician had the exhausted mother continue to push for another 30 minutes. During this time, the baby’s heart rate continued to drop and she was born in distress. An MRI confirmed that she had suffered a hypoxic brain injury which resulted in cerebral palsy, permanent neurological injuries, and developmental delays. This North Dakota case settled at mediation for $5.6 million, an amount that will allow the child’s parents to provide the care this child will require for the rest of her life.

  • Obtained a settlement in a medical negligence case involving a Midwest hospital, wherein the released parties’ alleged care and treatment of a mother during labor and delivery resulted in developmental delays and cerebral palsy for their child. The case settled for $4.25 million.

  • Represented a 51-year-old woman who suffered a catastrophic brain injury following a failed tracheostomy procedure. The woman had undergone surgery at a Minnesota hospital to repair a brain hemorrhage, which was by all accounts successful though she still required ventilatory support for breathing. About a week after the surgery, doctors in the hospital performed a procedure called a bedside percutaneous tracheostomy to allow for longer-term ventilator support while the woman recovered. During the procedure a large artery in the woman’s neck was severely damaged, leading to massive loss of blood and a global brain injury. She is left catastrophically impaired, blind and totally dependent on others for round-the-clock care. The case settled for $9.5 million.

  • Represented a 51-year-old Minnesota man who was paralyzed from the waist down following surgery for a perforated bowel. The man suffered a prolonged drop in blood pressure after receiving anesthesia, causing a critical lack of blood flow to his spinal cord that resulted in permanent damage and paralysis. After a nine-day trial, the jury found that the anesthesiologist’s negligence had contributed to the man’s injuries. The jury awarded $9.1 million, an amount that will allow him to live more independently and to receive rehabilitation that may eventually allow him to walk again.

  • Represented the family of a baby who died at age nine months due to the defendants’ failure to promptly diagnose and treat meningococcal meningitis. The baby was at the hospital for approximately 15 hours with signs and symptoms of a serious bacterial infection. He was one of those unfortunate children who was not sick enough (toxic) to require antibiotics. It was appropriate to admit him if and only if he was watched closely. At the time of transfer from ER to Peds floor, he deteriorated. 2 ½ to 3 hours later, antibiotics were started. By then it was too late.

  • $500,000 settlement for a 46-year-old woman and her husband following a 31-month delay in diagnosing our client’s endometrial cancer. Our client was diagnosed with a genetic condition that increased the likelihood of her developing endometrial cancer. Because of that diagnosis she elected to have her uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries removed to reduce the likelihood of developing endometrial cancer. Tissue from the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries were sent to pathology to diagnose potential cancer following their removal. Endometrial cancer was present in the tissue submitted to the pathologist but the pathologist failed to diagnose it, resulting in a delay in diagnosing our client’s cancer. The Defendant argued the pathologist’s failure to diagnose the endometrial cancer did not change our client’s prognosis or course of cancer treatment.

  • Client v. Gene Kirkpatrick: The District Court, East Central Judicial District in North Dakota, issued an opinion on July 8 in a civil action for damages for wrongful death, ordering judgments of $4,406,139.50 as compensation for economic damages, $5 million as compensation for non-economic damages and the maximum $250,000 for exemplary damages. The family of Dr. Philip Gattuso of Fargo, N.D., who was killed in October 2009, had sought damages in the civil action following the July 2011 conviction of conspiracy to murder and life sentencing of the defendant, Gene Kirkpatrick, of Jones, Okla. Kirkpatrick had arranged for his son-in-law, Dr. Gattuso, to be killed following the death of his daughter Valerie, Dr. Gattuso’s wife, to attempt custody of their young daughter. Valerie Gattuso had passed away in March 2009 following complications from surgery. We also represented the Gattuso family in that medical malpractice lawsuit, which had settled confidentially.

  • $5.6 million recovered after mediation in a medical malpractice case involving negligent failure to diagnose and treat bacterial meningitis resulting in serious and permanent injuries to our 34-year-old client.

  • Obtained a $4,623,924 verdict for the family of a 36-year-old wife and mother who died due to the negligence of Monticello Big Lake Community Hospital, now New River Medical Center.

  • 72-year-old man suffers cauda equina injury following back surgery, results in bladder and balance issues. No wage loss but activities of daily life affected, no offer, verdict of $558,000, combined with prior settlement against co-defendant, total recovery of $783,640.

  • Obtained a $4 million settlement for a woman whose doctor and clinic failed to properly treat her seizures. Our client developed seizures following an angiogram procedure. EEGs confirmed the presence of seizure activity and although two different types of anti-convulsant medications were used, the seizure activity was never stopped. Our client developed increasing confusion and cognitive impairment. She was transferred to the Mayo Clinic where non-convulsive status epilepticus was confirmed and the seizure stopped. Our client continues to exhibit cognitive impairment which prevents her from returning to her professional work.

  • Represented a woman who suffered facial scars and depression when she requested a light chemical peel by a dermatologist who then proceeded to perform a deeper acid peel. Although our client asked for the procedure to stop when she was in pain, the doctor continued. After seven days of trial, the jury unanimously awarded our client $986,639.

  • In October, 2009, a Hibbing, MN jury returned a verdict in favor of the parents of a 21 month old boy who died of a ruptured appendix that had been misdiagnosed on two separate occasions in the days prior to his death including an office examination on the day before he died. The jury found the defendant physician's negligence caused the toddler's death and awarded $1.275 million in damages.

  • Represented a client who suffered serious injuries after undergoing gastric bypass surgery. The Minnesota Supreme Court held that hospitals owe a duty to patients to use reasonable care in granting hospital privileges to physicians. This duty exists even when the physician is not an employee of the hospital. This is the first time that an appellate court in the State of Minnesota has recognized a common law cause of action for negligent privileging.

  • $2.5 million verdict involving a farmer who lost significant function of his bowel and bladder, along with use and feeling of both legs due to the failure of a neurosurgical team to promptly diagnose and perform surgery on a severe back condition.

  • $1,050,000 verdict on behalf of a chemical engineer who suffered spinal cord injury due to surgical instrument, results in sensation and motor deficits. No wage loss but activities of daily life affected.

  • $5 million settlement on behalf of a child with cerebral palsy.

  • $9.6 million dollar settlement on behalf of a severely brain injured young woman. This injury occurred when she was rear-ended in a vehicle. The parties and details of the resolution are confidential.

  • $4 million settlement against radiologists for failing to diagnose a brain aneurysm in a woman.

  • Wrongful death of a married woman with no children, settlement in excess of $5 million.

  • $2.5 million dollar jury verdict for wrongful death of a husband and wife.

  • $11.1 million jury verdict involving a mother who suffered catastrophic brain damage because the ambulance failed to arrive in a timely fashion.

  • $26.5 million verdict (plus 46% pre-judgment interest) for the wrongful death of a paraplegic man murdered by a home health aide.

  • $7 million verdict against a hospital when a young psychotic patient with a history of epileptic seizures was not properly monitored, resulting in quadriplegia.

  • $6.5 million settlement involving injection of inappropriate drug by interventional neuro-radiologist resulting in cosmetic injury necessitating numerous corrective surgeries.

  • $5.4 million settlement for failure to appropriately monitor and treat known cardiomyopathy.

  • $5 million settlement during trial for three plaintiffs in a pharmaceutical products case involving claims of cancer being caused by a drug.

  • $4.4 million verdict against a medical clinic pertaining to a brain-injured infant.

  • $2.8 million settlement involving the death of a man for failure to diagnose and treat sepsis.

  • $2.5 million settlement against an HMO whose failure to diagnose a pulmonary embolus in a woman resulted in significant brain damage.

  • $2.1 million settlement for failure to promptly administer antibiotics for kidney infection, resulting in death.

  • $65,000 settlement for family of elderly gentleman who would have lived one additional year had his lung cancer been timely diagnosed.

  • 2008 verdict of $1,123,448 in Wisconsin against anesthesiologist for placing a neck line in the carotid artery rather than the internal jugular vein resulting in a stroke in an elderly lady.

Articles

  • Hospital “Never Events”: Retained Surgical Instruments and the Legal Consequences
    Given the high degree of precision, accuracy, and coordination necessary to perform a modern surgical procedure, it is disturbing that surgical teams continue to fail in performing one of the simplest tasks in the OR: the instrument count.

  • Modern Surgical Technology and the Danger of Operating Room Fire
    With the increase in the use of technology like electrocautery and surgical lasers, however, a new danger is beginning to garner attention: operating room fires.

  • Wrongful Death Recoveries in the Era of the Modern Family
    When a loved one dies through the fault of another, Minnesota’s wrongful death statute provides a right of recovery to the decedent’s family. Some people – even some in the legal community – are surprised to learn that the distribution of that recovery does not follow the bright-line rules of Minnesota’s inheritance laws. Instead, Minnesota’s wrongful death law allows far more discretion. This provides a creative opportunity for cooperative families, but the lack of bright line rules can also result in strife.

  • Risks and Benefits: Chiropractic Treatment and the Danger of Stroke
    The most potentially catastrophic risk associated with chiropractic treatment involves adjustment of a patient’s neck – also called a “high-velocity low amplitude manipulation.” This type of manipulation carries the risk that the patient will suffer a stroke, often with corresponding life-altering injuries.

  • Remote Control Surgery
    Robotics are here to stay and doubtless will improve over time as does all new technology. The cost will come down and the experience level of operators will go up. There are, however, some potential disadvantages of robotic surgery.

  • Recognizing Bariatric Surgery Medical Malpractice
    It is the responsibility of surgeons and staff to educate the patient and family on the symptoms of postoperative complications. Early recognition of these complications and meticulous attention to details are crucial for bariatric surgeons.

  • Minnesota Supreme Court Recognizes Cause of Action Against Hospitals for Negligent Privileging of Physicians
    Our medical malpractice lawyers represented a client in a case where the Minnesota Supreme Court held that hospitals owe a duty to patients to use reasonable care in granting hospital privileges to physicians. This duty exists even when the physician is not an employee of the hospital.

  • Obtaining Justice When a Child Dies 
    Representing a family in a child's death case can be a gut-wrenching experience. Tap into your own empathy and that of jurors to ensure that your clients get full and fair compensation for their loss.



* Past results are reported to provide the reader with an indication of the type of litigation we practice. They do not and should not be construed to create an expectation of result in any other case, as all cases are dependent upon their own unique fact situation and applicable law.