Senior Partner Bruce Habian tried to a unanimous defense verdict a case in which he represented a major metropolitan teaching institute. This was a sensitive case involving a child with disfiguring chest and abdominal scars, with the claim that we affirmatively burned the tissue of this premature baby in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The plaintiff’s expert confirmed a res ipsa loquitur theory (no identification of the negligence, but the injury spoke for itself as to its occurrence).
The defense established through pediatric dermatology expert testimony that this newborn had sustained an extremely rare (13 cases reported in the literature), skin pathology called Congenital Erosive Vesicular Dermatosis. No such diagnosis was delineated in the treatment record with all practitioners – pediatricians, neonatologists and infectious disease specialists – claiming the etiology of the condition was unknown. The emotions of the case were confirmed by graphic pictures of the aforementioned injury to the skin. Partner Michael A. Sonkin conducted an exhaustive search of the relevant literature concerning this rare dermatologic condition.