Major Case Details
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An Oklahoma City case handled by Berry achieved national prominence when a chapter in Medical Malpractice was devoted to an account of how Berry handled the case of John Silverberg versus a local hospital. Silverberg was a schizophrenic known at the hospital for his frequent delusional states. When he appeared in the emergency room with leg pain and sudden paralysis his complaints were dismissed and he was locked in a psychiatric ward for several days. In fact, Silverberg was suffering from a blood clot and the delay in diagnosis resulted in the loss of circulation in his legs leaving him permanently paralyzed in a wheelchair for life.
The hard fought case involved two trials, an appeal and, eventually, a huge settlement for the victim of true medical negligence.
A woman went to a hospital to have her baby. Her blood pressure was very high. Her doctor was called but it was the weekend and he was busy. He told the nurse he would be there later. Her blood pressure remained high and other symptoms showed she had preeclampsia but the doctor was not there to deliver the baby. The woman suffered a seizure that left her totally blind. The doctor no longer practices at that hospital and the woman received a large settlement under the supervision of Howard K. Berry.
Semi Truck Collision
A young man was on his work in an oilfield. The pickup he was riding in was going down a hill. The driver slammed on his brakes but it was too late to avoid a semi trailer that was blocking the roadway. The truck had tried to turn around on a county road crossing the highway. The young man was pinned in the pickup and suffered a brain injury that kept him hospitalized for many months. The trailer that blocked the roadway was not properly marked with the red and white tape that reflects light. Berry successfully represented the young man who is permanently injured but financially very secure.
A riding lawnmower was made in a way that the drive belt would be wedged in a pulley so that the brake would not override it. As a result, the mower could not be stopped sometimes. The manufacturer found out and designed a clip to be installed to prevent this. The manufacturer told service people to install these clips whenever the tractors next came in for service.
When a young girl was run over and suffered a leg amputation by one of these runaway mowers, the family complained and the clip was installed on the mower. The manufacturer claimed that the belt had been installed before the accident and claimed that the injury was the fault of the mower operator. Berry uncovered many other cases where mowers had failed to stop and ultimately achieved a large recovery during the trial of the case.
In one case a woman over 50 desired to lose some weight. She contacted a plastic surgeon to determine if liposuction could be used to trim her. The surgeon undertook to do liposuction but took away too much. He took off over 20 pounds. Evidence showed that a woman this age should probably not have liposuction and if she does that it should be just a few pounds rather than 20. This was such a shock to her system that she became badly infected and ended up with scars.
An elderly man was at a local hospital and was nearing his death. Funeral arrangements were in the process of being made even though he was still clinging to life. The nurse determined that he was having difficult breathing and called the doctor who wanted to come over to the hospital and put a tube down his throat. He told the nurse to get some medication prepared. This medication would be used to paralyze the patient so that he could not fight the attempts to put the tube down his throat to help him breath. The nurse mistakenly gave the medication before the doctor arrived and there was no one else at the hospital available to insert the tube. The paralyzing medicine made it impossible for the man to breathe on his own and he suffocated to death.
Nursing Home Negligence
In one case a man in a nursing home was receiving nutrition through a tube in his stomach. It became dislodged from its naval entry point and the nurse at the nursing home, rather than inform the physician and have it professionally reinserted just stuck it back in. She failed to get it in the right channel and continued to feed this patient. The nutritional supplement did not go into his stomach but into his body in a way that it caused him to quickly die.
A pedestrian was severely injured by a driver with only $10,000.00 of insurance. Berry demanded a statement from the driver but the insurance company wrongfully refused to grant this simple request so Berry sued the driver and refused to settle for the $10,000.00. The case was eventually closed for almost $3 Million dollars after two trials, two appeals and the eventual confirmation that the insurance company was guilty of bad faith.
A woman had surgery for TMJ. While she was in the recovery room after the surgery the nurse saw that the patient was about to vomit and didn't want to have vomit coming in her direction so she quickly grabbed the patient's jaw and turned it the other direction away from the nurse. This rapid movement caused the sutures to come loose and the patient had to be taken back to surgery.
A van driver crossed a centerline and killed a young woman and her month old baby. The husband hired Berry who discovered that the driver of the van was a handicapped man who had, on several previous occasions, lost control of the vehicle because of his handicap. He never should have been behind the wheel of the van. Enlarged photographs of the handicapped man's wheelchair revealed that he had a carefree attitude towards his difficulty in the operation of his vehicle. Microscopic inspection of the photo showed a bumper sticker on the wheelchair that said "If you don't like the way I drive, stay off the sidewalk". A generous settlement was extracted from the van driver with a flippant attitude.
Berry only works on a commission known as a "contingency fee" so his clients never have to pay for consultations or representation unless Berry delivers the client a satisfactory settlement.