After a heart attack while aboard a Norwegian Cruise Line, the Norwegian Pearl, left Ow Buland with lifelong health issues, Buland was awarded $2.08 million in damages for the cruise line’s negligent response. Gary Friedman of Friedman and Friedman Trial Lawyers was the plaintiff’s attorney in this case and worked hard to prove that the cruise ship doctor did not perform his proper duty of care and was the cause of Buland’s ongoing and serious health issues.
After Buland alerted the medical staff of his heart attack, the treating doctor chose not to administer thrombolytic therapy, which would help to dissolve blood clots. Buland was told that he only suffered a minor heart attack, a claim that was quickly falsified as soon as Buland arrived at Mount Sinai Hospital in Miami. Once at the hospital, Buland had to undergo an emergency procedure where four stents were placed in his arteries along with a defibrillator and pacemaker that were added later to prevent sudden cardiac death from the sustained heart damage. In addition to the medical staffs negligence, the ship also failed to return to the port it had left from or to speed up in response to Buland’s medical issue.
While Norwegian Cruise Line denied the allegations that they acted negligently and are liable for the plaintiffs heart concerns, Friedman and his co-counsel, Andrew Waks, were able to prove that Buland’s permanent injuries were a direct result of negligence by ship personnel. He was awarded $1.2 million for pain and suffering, $800,000 for hospitalization and $84,000 for loss of services, as the plaintiff is no longer able to work.
After the verdict was handed down Attorney Gary Friedman spoke about the trial.
Friedman said the defense characterized his client as having “an incredible amount of nerve to sue because they saved him.”
“‘We kept you on the ship for 36 hours … and while we didn’t treat your heart attack, we saved your life.’ That was their defense,” he said.
Friedman had no qualms calling the case difficult with respect to the size of the jury.
“It’s challenging when you have to have a unanimous verdict, and every additional person you have to convince adds to the challenge,” he said. Friedman described his client as “extremely happy” with the outcome.
“What patient would want to be treated like that?” he asked. “Apparently the jury agreed.”
For more information about the verdict, go to https://www.law.com/dailybusinessreview/