Tom Rhodes Law Firm, P.C. Secures $14.3 Million Verdict

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Our attorneys helped secure a $14,285,505 verdict for a woman who was left catastrophically and permanently injured after her doctors failed to provide necessary treatment.

Tom Rhodes Law Firm, P.C. recently represented Jo Ann Puente (Jo Ann Puente v. Jesus Virlar, M.D., and Gonzaba Medical Group; Cause No. 2014-CI-04936, Bexar County, Texas, 131st Judicial District), a resident of Del Rio, Texas who suffered serious, life-changing complications resulting from the Defendants’ failure to provide proper nutrition after she underwent successful Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass surgery.

Ms. Puente, 35 at the time, underwent the surgery in November of 2011. Approximately one month later, she began vomiting and became unable to keep down any nutrients, food, or liquid. She was admitted to Metropolitan Methodist Hospital in San Antonio, Texas.

Two days after her admission, a dietician evaluated Ms. Puente’s condition and recommended that she receive total parenteral nutrition (TPN). Dr. Virlar, her attending physician, failed to order TPN during her 12-day hospital admission, depriving Ms. Puente of essential vitamins, including Thiamin (Vitamin B1). While in the hospital, Ms. Puente developed concerning symptoms of neurological complications. Dr. Virlar failed to recognize Ms. Puente’s rapidly deteriorating condition and continued ignoring her nutritional needs. Instead, she was discharged from the hospital despite continuing to exhibit serious, life-threatening symptoms.

Within the week, Ms. Puente was readmitted to the hospital exhibiting the same symptoms, as well as additional ones including delirium and a greatly reduced level of consciousness. Her mental state continued to decline and she became comatose for a period of time.

Now 41, Ms. Puente has no short-term memory, is wheelchair bound, and lives in a nursing home in Del Rio, Texas. She cannot walk or stand and is unable to form new memories, including memories of her young daughter.

During the trial, we presented expert testimony that Ms. Puente suffers from a condition called Wernicke’s Encephalopathy, which is caused by a lack of Thiamin (Vitamin B1). The standard of care requires that doctors prophylactically administer Thiamin to post-bariatric patients who are persistently vomiting to prevent Wernicke’s Encephalopathy. Not only was Ms. Puente deprived of Thiamin; but she also received less than six ounces of liquids during her three weeks at the hospital.

Attorneys Tom Rhodes, Robert Brzezinski, Erin Oglesby, and Sam Royston of Tom Rhodes Law Firm, P.C. represented Ms. Puente during her case, along with Kathryn Snapka of Snapka Law Firm.

The attorneys at Tom Rhodes Law Firm, P.C. have provided injured victims with the dedicated and knowledgeable representation they require in their time of need for more than 30 years. Over that time, the firm has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements in 11 different states across the United States. If you are interested in speaking with a member of our firm, you can give us a call at (210) 265-6543, or you can fill out our online form to provide us with the details of your situation and request a free case evaluation today.

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Ryan Smythe
Tom Rhodes Law Firm P.C.
+1 (661) 702-0100 Ext: 5534
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