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Complex Medical Malpractice Matter Thrown Out of Court

May 1, 2009

Guy R. Gruppie and Gina E. Och recently won  summary judgment for their physician client in a complex matter where plaintiffs alleged medical malpractice and a variety of claims, including fraud and Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”) claims.

Plaintiffs were a young married couple. One day, the husband experienced severe pain in one of his testicles. He deferred seeking medical attention before finally going to defendant’s urgent care clinic, even though a major medical center’s emergency room was even closer to his house. He was seen by a physician assistant who could not rule out testicular tortion with certainty because ultrasound was not available. Instead, he prescribed medication, which did provide the patient with some relief for a few days, before he again began experiencing severe pain.

At that point, he went to a hospital emergency room where various tests diagnosed tortion and revealed  that tissue in the area had essentially died, making surgical removal necessary.

Plaintiffs sued the clinic, its owners, the lead physician and physician’s assistant. M&C’s client was not present on the day the husband sought evaluation and treatment at the urgent care clinic, and another physician was on duty partly for the purpose of supervising the physician assistant. That evidence, in addition to the inability of plaintiffs to submit any admissable evidence in support of the fraud and UCL allegations, led to the granting of summary judgment by a three-judge binding arbitration panel, headed by former Orange County Superior Court Judge, Robert Jameson.