Brooklyn Boro

Sketches of Court: Leg amputation as complication of cardiac arrest contested in medical malpractice trial

June 23, 2023 Alba Acevdo
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In this courtroom sketch, Hon. Consuelo Mallafre Melendez looks on as the plaintiff testifies under cross-examination in the medical malpractice trial Williams v. LIJMC. At the podium is defendant’s attorney Marc J. Citrin, and seated at right is Jason Corrado, Sr., both of the law firm Shaub, Ahmuty, Citrin & Spratt. Ms. Williams is represented by Joseph Lichtenstein (foreground), of the Law Offices of Joseph M. Lichtenstein. Court reporter Minerva Marin transcribes the proceedings.

Williams was 20 years old in July 2013 when she left her workplace feeling ill and reported to Long Island Jewish Medical Center. At the hospital, Williams suffered a cardiac arrest. She was attended to by staff in the critical care unit as well as at the hospital catheterization lab, which is an examination area with diagnostic and imaging equipment to monitor the condition of the heart.

Williams’ right leg became ischemic; subsequently an above-the-knee amputation was performed at a later date.

At issue in the trial is plaintiff’s allegation that the loss of her right leg was avoidable and related to improper use of a device. Lichtenstein contends that fault lies with the hospital in failing to adequately monitor Williams’ condition. Lichtenstein’s expert witnesses included a life care planner and a consulting economist, who testified that Williams has a statistical life expectancy of 50 more years for which she will need lifetime care.

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Citrin and Corrado represented the hospital, and refuted any claims that Williams was not properly monitored. They contended that their client’s choices in the face of Williams’ unstable condition, which included kidney failure and precarious blood pressure, had saved Williams’ life.

The attorneys in their closing statements referred to the verdict sheet question that would be presented to the jury, as to whether the implantation of an Impella device represented a departure from good and accepted standards of medical practice, but the trial resolved for an undisclosed sum before deliberations concluded last week in Kings County Supreme Civil Term.

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