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Nevada State Jury Awards $ 14.5 Million In Medical Malpractice Action Brought By Parents Of Infant W

Nevada State Jury Awards $ 14.5 Million In Medical Malpractice Action Brought By Parents Of Infant Who Suffered Brain Injury From Untreated Anemia On May 14, 2008, Tiffani D. Hurst gave birth to M.A.H. in Sunrise Hospital in Clark County, NV. M.A.H. was premature (born at 6 1/2 months gestation), and received medical care from neonatologist Martin Blahnick, M.D. and Ali Piroozi, M.D. until she was discharged from the hospital on Aug. 2, 2008. Although M.A.H. suffered from ongoing anemia during her hospital stay, Blahnick and Piroozi failed to investigate her condition further and diagnose her with a serious form of congenital anemia. Instead, they attributed her anemia to her prematurity and told her parents it was normal and would resolve on its own.


Following discharge, M.A.H. fell under the care of pediatrician Ralph Conti, M.D. of Foothill Pediatrics

LLC, who failed to perform a follow-up blood test recommended by Dr. Piroozi in the discharge summary. On Oct. 29, 2008, M.A.H. suffered an anemic shock episode, which resulted in a serious and

permanent brain injury.


On May 14, 2010, Hurst and M.A.H.'s father Brian Abbington filed a medical malpractice action in the

Nevada District Court for Clark County. The original complaint included claims against the following defendants: Piroozi, Blahnick, Conti, Foothill 7/11/2021 Nevada State Jury Awards $ 14.5 Million In Medical Malpractice Action Brought By Parents Of Infant Who Suffered Brain Injury From Unt…

Pediatrics, and Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center,LLC. In early 2013, Dr. Conti and Foothills Pediatricswas dismissed by stipulation. On Feb. 21, 2014,Sunrise was dismissed by stipulation and on Nov. 20,2016, Dr. Blahnik was dismissed from the action bystipulation.


On Nov. 14, 2016, plaintiffs appeared for trial on thec laims against Dr. Piroozi only. Judge Jerry A. Wiese presided. Plaintiffs maintained that Piroozi was negligent in failing to recognize that M.A.H. had aserious form of anemia and investigate it. They furtheralleged that he was negligent in the manner andmethod of his discharge of M.A.H. from the hospital.Specifically, they argued that he was negligent byfailing to have an appropriate plan of care in light of herongoing anemia, by withholding critical informationfrom the plaintiffs and the pediatrician (including testresults demonstrating that M.A.H. was not making anyred blood cells and her red blood cell count wasdropping at the time of her discharge) and by including false and misleading information in the discharge summary (incorrect number of transfusions—5 insteadof 11, incorrect diagnosis, statement that Anemia had resolved, and nothing regarding any concern forongoing anemia or explanation for why follow-up CBCwas being recommended). Dr. Piroozi countered,arguing that he had met the standard of care and didnot cause damage to M.A.H. He argued that M.A.H.had been under the care of seven other physicians atthe hospital, and that upon her discharge, he hadordered, among other things, a follow-up CBC, Dif andRetic test within one month. Moreover, he had sent thechild for a pediatrician follow-up, and her anemic shockepisode occurred nearly three months after she left hismedical care.


On Dec. 2, 2016, the jury reached a verdict inplaintiffs' favor, finding that Dr. Piroozi and Dr. Contihad been negligent and that their negligence causedM.A.H. to suffer injury. The jury found Dr. Blahnik had 7/11/2021 Nevada State Jury Awards $ 14.5 Million In Medical Malpractice Action Brought By Parents Of Infant Who Suffered Brain Injury From Unt…not been negligent. The award totaled $14,518,607.00, and liability was apportioned 40% to Dr. Piroozi and 60% to Dr. Conti. Plaintiffs were represented by Jacquelynn D.Carmichael and David A. Cutt of Eisenberg, Gilchrist &Cutt in Salt Lake City, Utah. Defendant wasrepresented by ohn H. Cotton and Katherine Turpen ofJohn H. Cotton & Associates in Las Vegas, Nevada.


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