March 2013 – Borton Petrini Obtains Defense Verdict for Hall Ambulance
The law firm of Borton Petrini, LLP, scored a resounding defense verdict on behalf of Hall Ambulance Service, Inc., in a major personal injury action claiming gross negligence on the part of the first responding ambulance crew and negligence on the part of the Bakersfield Police Department. The claim brought by plaintiff Mohammed Harb, M.D. and his wife Fatema Harb sought recovery of $25 million from the defendants City of Bakersfield Police Department and Hall Ambulance. Plaintiffs claimed that in November of 2007, while returning from work at Kern County Medical Center, that Dr. Harb ran off the road at 24th and Oak Streets in downtown Bakersfield, California, as a result of a stroke. The Bakersfield Police Department assumed that they were dealing with a drunk driver.
Examination by first responding medical personnel from Hall Ambulance indicated normal vital signs but the possibility of a stroke due to an altered level of consciousness. The first ambulance was discharged from the scene but a second ambulance summoned by additional police officers, took Dr. Harb to Kern Medical Center where he was diagnosed with an Intracerebral Hemorrhage. He eventually underwent a craniotomy to remove the hemorrhage. He was left totally disabled.
The trial lasted six weeks and was chaired by Borton Petrini Partner James Braze and Senior Counsel Gail Braze. The jury deliberated for less than a day and found no fault on either Hall Ambulance or the police department. Expert witnesses for plaintiffs testified that if Dr. Harb had been taken to the hospital twenty minutes earlier he would be back to practicing medicine today. The defense neurosurgeon testified that the damage to Dr. Harb was caused by the initial hemorrhage and that no earlier treatment would have made any difference.