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Fort Worth Family Prevailed in Negligence Lawsuit Against Surgery Team

Submitted by jrlaw on Mar 9th, 2009

Fort Worth, TX - Oct. 18, 2002) Jurors in Judge Paul Enlow’s 141st District Court issued a verdict in favor of the plaintiff late yesterday after finding that three members of a surgery team should never have attempted an operation that preceded the death of 63 year-old Ralph Ojeda Mr. Ojeda suffered a heart attack and died on August 28, 1997, during elective eyelid surgery. Attorneys for Mr. Ojeda's family argued that the doctor, anesthesiologist and nurse anesthesist negligently allowed the surgery to take place even though Mr. Ojeda had an abnormal electrocardiogram reading less than two hours before the operation. The surgery team's failure to follow proper medical procedures contributed to Mr. Ojeda's death, the jury found. " Mrs. Ojeda and her daughter are relieved that this painful process is over," says the family's lead attorney, Jeff Rasansky of Dallas' Rasansky Law Firm. "This man told his doctors he'd suffered a heart attack two years earlier, and he had an abnormal EKG on the morning of the operation, but they went ahead and operated anyway." At trial, Mr. Rasansky and plaintiffs co-counsel Amy Witherite, of Dallas' Eberstein & Witherite, questioned whether the surgery team had even looked at the EKG prior to the procedure. The 4-man, 8-woman jury assessed 50 percent liability against Dr. Cameron Shropshire, the anesthesiologist during Mr. Ojeda's surgery; 40 percent liability against plastic surgeon Dr. Scott Kasden; and 10 percent liability against nurse anesthesist Karen McDonald. Dr. Shropshire and Ms. McDonald were represented by Charles Bell of Dallas' Gwinn & Roby. Dr. Kasden was represented by Jim Stouffer of Fort Worth's Wallach Andrews Florsheim & Stouffer.