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SKETCHES OF COURT: Complex medical malpractice case requires larger courtroom

Lengthy List of Defendants

March 6, 2015 By Alba Acevedo Special to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Court sketch by Alba Acevedo

In this courtroom sketch, Hon. Michelle Weston listens as plaintiff’s attorney Brian Schochet (standing), solo practitioner, questions a witness during a complicated lymphoma-related medical malpractice trial that has so many participants that it had to be moved to a larger courtroom.

Odette Thomas-Tella, as administrator of the estate of McPeace O. Tella, deceased, is the plaintiff. The defendants are Prem Goel, Hasan Rizvi, Gerry Rubin, Michael Gray, Francine DiMaria, Nicole Darrow, Michael Sacca, Adrianne Collins, William Engellenner, Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center, Progressive Oncology PC, South Shore Infectious Diseases and Travel Medicine Consultant PC, South Shore Infectious Diseases PC, Great South Bay Surgical Associates and Vascular Lab LLP, Francine DiMaria DO PC, and Pathology and Laboratory Consultants of Long Island PLLC.

The lengthy list of defendants are represented by the team of attorneys pictured at left (seated, foreground to rear): Robert J. McHenry, of McHenry, Horan & Pilatsky, PLLC; Michael S. Kelton, of Abrams Fensterman; Neil S. Kornfeld, of Furman, Kornfeld & Brennan; Kerri E. Levy, of Kerley, Walsh, Matera & Cinquemani; Howard R. Snyder, of Fumuso, Kelly, DeVerna, Snyder, Swart & Farrell; Peter Kopff, of Peter C. Kopff LLC; and Henry M. Primavera, of Perry, Van Etten, Rozanski & Primavera. To the left of Judge Weston (seated) is court clerk Ken Simmond. 

All of the relevant liability issues of this complicated medical malpractice case are in contention, including test results, diagnosis, treatment, cause of death, autopsy findings, and the incidence (or lack of it) of a fungal infection or lymphoma.

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Projected onto the screen pictured at top left is an image of a pelvic x-ray, which was used to help the jury identify the location of enlarged lymph nodes within the body’s anatomy.

Each of the defendants interacted with the plaintiff, a 38-year old Nigerian-born male, during the five-month period before his death. Details of the plaintiff’s showing of symptoms 4 1/2 years earlier were also called into evidence.

The civil case is being tried at 320 Jay St., where a bigger courtroom was available to accommodate the large number of participants in the trial, which continues this week.


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