Cause of subdural hematoma disputed in med-mal case. Defense verdict. Los Angeles County.


Plaintiff suffered a subdural hematoma following a C-section. Permanent disability.

The Case

  • Case Name: Derohanian et al. v. Tahery
  • Court and Case Number: Los Angeles Superior Court / BC609669
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Thursday, January 27, 2022
  • Date Action was Filed: Monday, April 18, 2016
  • Type of Case: Medical Malpractice
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Robert Draper
  • Plaintiffs:
    Rebecca Derohanian
    Zoltan Csizmadia
  • Defendants:
    Michael Tahery, M.D.
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: Defense verdict
  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 12 days
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 2 hours
  • Jury Polls: 11-1

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Haffner Law PC by Joshua H. Haffner, Los Angeles.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Carroll Kelly Trotter & Franzen by Richard D. Carroll and Daniel Z. Weinberg, Long Beach.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Chitra Venkatsubramanian, M.D., neurology.

    Arthur Barnes, M.D., OBGYN.

    Khyber Zaffarkhan, M.D., physical medicine and rehabilitation.

    Jennifer Craigmyle, life care planning.

    Pedram Aleshi, M.D., anesthesiology.

  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    Michael Nageotte, M.D., OBGYN.

    Nerses Sanossian, M.D., neurology.

    Brian King, M.D., neuroradiology.

    Martin H. Weiss, M.D., neurosurgery.

    Andrew Woo, M.D., neurology.

    Rhonda Renteria, life care planning.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    Plaintiff suffered a massive subdural hematoma that caused brain herniation and permanent, severe disability after a C-section.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That the C-section was not indicated based on the diagnosis of intrauterine growth restriction and that spinal anesthesia caused significant loss of CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) that led to brain sag and tearing of the bridging veins.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    That plaintiff chose a C-section after many discussions regarding the risks, benefits, and alternatives, which included spontaneous labor and induction.

    Additionally, that there was no indication that plaintiff had a CSF leak or a venous bleed. The time from the onset of the headache to the loss of consciousness was rapid – approximately 15 minutes – which was consistent with a spontaneous arterial rupture.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Permanent disability and inability to perform activities of daily living.

  • Zoltan Csizmadia sued for loss of consortium based on his wife's disability.

Additional Notes

Plaintiff claimed a total of $15 million in special damages.