Office worker sprains ankle, says care by Kaiser was negligent. Defense verdict. San Diego County.


Plaintiff develops pulmonary embolism after being treated for ankle sprain, calls medical care negligent.

The Case

  • Case Name: Elizabeth Urquhart v. Southern California Permanente Medical Group, et. al
  • Court and Case Number: San Diego Superior Court / 37-2014-84620-CU-MM-CTL
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Tuesday, August 02, 2016
  • Date Action was Filed: Wednesday, January 22, 2014
  • Type of Case: Medical Malpractice
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Eddie C. Sturgeon
  • Plaintiffs:
    Elizabeth Urquhart
  • Defendants:
    Southern California Permanente Medical Group
    Linda O'Leary
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: Defense verdict.
  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 6 days.
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 4 hours.
  • Jury Polls: 9-3 for defendants.

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Suzanne H. Mindlin, Cardiff by the Sea.

    Selik Law Offices by Joel G. Selik, San Diego.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    La Follette, Johnson, DeHaas, Fesler & Ames by James J. Wallace II, San Diego.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    David V. Cossman, M.D., vascular surgery, Beverly Hills.

  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    Russell P. Dunnum, M.D., occupational medicine, La Jolla.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    On Jan. 27, 2013, a 27-year-old female, who was a temporary employee, was walking down some stairs during her lunch break, when she fell, suffering a left high ankle sprain.  

    Plaintiff was taken to Kaiser Hospital in San Diego in a private vehicle by a co-worker. After X-rays were taken and an examination performed, she was placed in a cam-boot and was instructed to elevate her leg when resting. Approximately one week later, she developed a Deep  Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and a pulmonary embolism. As a result, an IVC filter was placed into her chest which was subsequently removed.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That on Jan. 27, 2013, defendant should have ordered a D-dimer test which plaintiff contends would have detected the pulmonary embolism earlier which would have prevented the IVC filter placement.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Defendants denied any wrongdoing and contended that plaintiff was appropriately treated and within the standard of care for occupational medicine physicians.

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: $350,000, waiver of costs by defendants.