Steve Teal, Santa Rosa Attorney, Obtains $870,000 for Client in Highest Hospital Negligence Verdict in Mendocino County

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Teal & Montgomery law firm prevails on behalf of plaintiff in medical malpractice lawsuit against Ukiah Valley Medical Center, after month long trial and just six hours of deliberations

This was a tragic case where the hospital failed to take full responsibility for its employees' failures

February 12, 2009 - Steven Teal, partner in the Santa Rosa law firm of Teal & Montgomery, scored a major victory for a Ukiah man when he obtained the largest known jury verdict in a hospital negligence case in Mendocino County.

The case, Staley v. Ukiah Valley Medical Center (Mendocino County Docket No. SCUKCVPO060097644), was resolved by a four-week jury trial that began in October and concluded in November 2008. After hearing the evidence, the jurors deliberated for just six hours before returning a unanimous verdict for the plaintiff and awarding $870,000 to the plaintiffs. This judgment is believed to be the highest hospital negligence, medical malpractice verdict ever awarded in Mendocino County.

The plaintiff, William Staley, was a patient at Ukiah Valley Medical Center in 2006, where he was scheduled for arthroscopic right shoulder surgery. At the start of the surgery, during the process of raising Mr. Staley into position for the procedure (he was intubated and under general anesthesia at the time), a "shoulder chair" became detached from the operating room table. This caused Mr. Staley's body to fall from the shoulder chair device and his head hit the concrete floor of the operating room, causing traumatic injuries to his head, neck and lower back.

"This was a tragic case where the hospital failed to take full responsibility for its employees' failures," said Teal, whose firm provides a wide range of legal services that combine medical and legal expertise. "We are gratified the jury saw through the expensive experts' testimony hired by the hospital to excuse its negligence. We were pleased that the jury would return a significant verdict against the small community's only hospital."

For more information about Teal & Montgomery, please go to http://www.tealmontgomery.com or call 866.878.5267.

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