By Alba Acevedo
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
In this courtroom sketch, Hon. Michelle Weston listens as defendant’s attorney Susan Noble (standing), of the law firm Carroll, McNulty & Kull, addresses the jury during opening statements last week in the medical malpractice trial of Salvatore DePaolo, as administrator of the estate of Jerry DePaolo, v. Beth Israel Medical Center.
In November 2007, Jerry DePaolo, 73 at the time, had been brought to the hospital emergency room after suffering a fall. After triage he was assessed at high risk of skin breakdown. The patient had co-morbidities including Parkinsons’s disease, but at issue in this trial is the development and treatment of a decubitous ulcer (bed sore). The plaintiff, represented by Anthony Hirschberger (seated at left), of the law firm Krentsel & Guzman, alleged that a sacral bed sore developed and worsened due to the negligence of the hospital for failing to turn and reposition the patient every two hours when in their care. At stage 4, treatment of the bedsore ultimately required multiple surgical debridements, a medical process by which dead, damaged, or infected tissue is removed to improve the healing potential of the remaining healthy tissue.
The defendant claims that a stage 1 sacral bed sore developed in its facility, but resolved after discharge while decedent was in a nursing home. The defendant claims that the stage 4 bed sore that developed on the decedent's sacrum was unrelated to the ulcer that developed at Beth Israel Medical Center.
Plaintiff is seeking compensation for pain and suffering that the decedent experienced from the development of the ulcer until his death in 2008. The trial continues this week in Kings County Civil Term.