On February 7, 2014, David C. Rash obtained a 2.5 million dollar award in a non-binding arbitration of a wrongful death medical negligence case pending in Lee County, Florida. The arbitrator found that the hospital, emergency room physician and advanced registered nurse practitioner involved in the case were negligent in misdiagnosing a seven year old boy with a "viral syndrome" when he should have been treated for meningitis, and that their negligence caused his death on April 10, 2011.
The precious little boy's parents are Mr. Rash's clients and they filed suit against the hospital, emergency room physician and advanced registered nurse practitioner in March 2012. After not being offered any reasonable amount to settle the case, the parties were ordered to participate in a non-binding arbitration in Ft. Myers, Florida.
The arbitrator, a former medical malpractice defense attorney who later did some plaintiffs' medical malpractice work, and who was also a pediatric nurse, was appointed by the court to conduct the arbitration on January 28, 2014. The arbitrator issued her ruling on February 7, 2014 awarding 2.5 million dollars, the full extent of the non-economic damage amounts available under current Florida law. The arbitrator also ruled that the emergency room physician and advanced registered nurse practitioner were agents of the hospital despite the hospital's claim that they were "independent contractors," a typical defense when emergency room care and treatment are involved.
The attorneys for the hospital, emergency room physician and advanced registered nurse practitioner have since filed motions for trial de novo, and the parties are awaiting a trial date. Notably, the constitutionality of the limits in Florida on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases is pending before the Florida Supreme Court, and any ruling finding that the limits are unconstitutional would allow the parents in this case to seek more justice for the tragic and wholly unnecessary death of their only son.