The Gould Cooksey Fennell Blog

GCF’s Medical Malpractice Team Earns $31.9 Million Jury Verdict for Daughter of Wrongful Death Victim

On Friday March 8, 2024, GCF attorneys David Carter and Dane Ullian earned a verdict of $31.9 million for the family of Saverio Sasso, deceased, in a medical malpractice wrongful death trial against Cleveland Clinic Florida, Weston Hospital.

The case arose out of a negligent, non-emergency intubation that caused Mr. Sasso to suffer a catastrophic anoxic brain injury leading to his death. Mr. Carter and Mr. Ullian served as lead trial counselors with a trial team that included South Florida attorney Diana Santa Maria and appellate attorney Phillip Parrish..

The case, brought by the family of Saverio Sasso, arose out of a negligent, non-emergency intubation that caused Mr. Sasso to suffer a catastrophic anoxic brain injury leading to his death.

Mr. Sasso was admitted to Cleveland Clinic Weston Hospital on September 23, 2018, with a urinary tract infection. By 7:00 am the next morning, Mr. Sasso was in an induced coma, having suffered an anoxic brain injury during a botched, 15-minute intubation.

The most explosive issue in the trial was an allegation by Mr. Sasso’s fiancée, Andrea Oriolo, who witnessed the event, that the first person to attempt the intubation was a first-year resident acting without the mandatory supervision of an attending physician. Numerous physicians disputed Ms. Oriolo’s account, but the trial team was able to demonstrate that the physicians’ descriptions of the event contradicted one another and the electronic medical record data.

The trial involved complex medical and technical issues relating to critical care medicine, infectious disease, hospital administration, and electronic medical record systems. The outcome is a product of the passion, sincerity, and love of the Sasso family and the hard work of the entire trial team, attorneys and paralegals alike.

About Our Attorneys

David M Carter attorney at Gould Cooksey Fennell Vero Beach headshot

David M. Carter chairs the firm’s Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice Group. Throughout his career, he has served as lead counsel in numerous trials ranging from auto collisions to complex medical malpractice cases and has obtained numerous multi-million-dollar verdicts. Mr. Carter is Board Certified in Civil Trial Law and maintains an AV rating by Martindale Hubbell. He has been included on The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 List, named as one of Florida Trend’s “Legal Elite” and for the last decade has been listed as a “Super Lawyer” by Law & Politics Magazine. Mr. Carter has been included in the U.S. News and World Reports “Best Lawyer” rankings since 2012. That publication has also twice named him Personal Injury Litigation Plaintiff’s Lawyer of the Year for the Orlando area which encompasses 46 cities and 9 counties.

Dane Ullian Profile

Dane R. Ullian is a litigation partner practicing civil trial law with a focus on catastrophic personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death cases. Mr. Ullian tries multiple cases to verdict each year and has helped deliver numerous multimillion-dollar verdicts for his clients. A former United States Air Force intelligence officer, Mr. Ullian graduated from the University of Florida Levin College of Law ranked number one in his class and is consistently recognized by organizations like Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers.

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