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Christal v. Abdo

Arizona
Nov 08, 2005

CASE RESULTS DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE. CASE RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE.

Jury returns defense verdict after two hours of deliberation in Christal v. Abdo

GLOBE, AZ - On November 8, 2005, after only an hour, the jury returned a defense verdict in the wrongful death case of Christal v. Abdo. Parents of David Austin Christal ("Austin") sued Joseph Abdo, M.D. for $4 million in the wrongful death of their son, who died two days after a tonsillectomy.

Austin’s mother had applied a Duragesic fentanyl transdermal pain patch, which was prescribed by Dr. Amalia Pineres. Within 12 hours of application, Austin died of respiratory distress, which was followed by a cardiac arrest. The medication was contra-indicated for post-operation pain control; acute pain and children under 110 pounds and under the age of 18. Plaintiffs originally filed suit against Dr. Pineres and Palace Drug #24 (the pharmacy that filled the prescription), but both parties settled prior to any depositions. Under this suit, the plaintiffs argue that Dr. Abdo and his corporation had a duty to discover the negligence of Dr. Pineres and the pharmacy, and to intervene and save the child.

Defense experts included Dr. Carter, who testified that Dr. Abdo and his staff complied with the standard of care and did not cause the child’s death. In addition, the defense team also retained board-certified family specialist, Kim Johnson, M.D., who proved the case against non-party at-fault Dr. Pineres, and Michael Noel, RPh, who proved the case against the non-party at-fault pharmacy.

Case name: Christal v. Abdo

Case number: CV2003-0176

Judge’s name: Honorable Robert Duber, II

Plaintiff’s attorneys: John A. Micheaels and J. Gregory Osborne

Defense attorneys: Phoenix office of Bowman and Brooke LLP

Plaintiff experts: Raphael Nach, M.D.

Defense experts: Bart J. Carter, M.D., Kim D. Johnson, M.D., Michael Noel, RPh,
                           James R. Guidry, RPh and John P. DiBacco, Ph.D.