Expert Medicolegal Guidance on Piloting Stroke Cases
Every 40 seconds in the United States, someone suffers a stroke. In recent decades, stroke treatment has evolved far beyond watchful waiting to include thrombolytics ("clot-busting drugs" like TPA) and extraordinarily intricate procedures to remove stroke-causing clots. While medical advancements improve countless lives, many patients are still left with permanent neurological deficits that may lead them to question their care. Issues typically center on delays in diagnosis, the use (or non-use) of TPA, the timing of various treatments, and complications from treatment itself.
Given the tremendous economic and non-economic damages suffered by stroke victims, the stakes can be staggeringly high for plaintiff and defense attorneys who handle these cases. By understanding foundational concepts of current stroke diagnosis, treatment, and litigation, legal teams can bring actionable insight to their overall case strategies.
For an inside look at key issues in stroke litigation, join Dr. Burton Bentley, Dr. Alexander Merkler, and Attorney Rudy Massa in this important fourth installment in Insights Beyond the Law. Dr. Merkler will begin the program by reviewing core concepts of stroke physiology, diagnosis, and treatment across a wide range of stroke types. He'll then focus on current diagnostic and treatment practices for the most common type of stroke, acute ischemic stroke, while specifically discussing the role of TPA and endovascular therapy in plaintiff and defense theories of informed consent and standards of care. Mr. Massa, an acclaimed trial attorney who's handled dozens of stroke cases, will then share practical strategies for screening, analyzing, and litigating acute stroke claims. The speakers will remain for audience questions at the conclusion.
Overview of Stroke
Ischemic Stroke, the Most Common Stroke Subtype
Management of Acute Ischemic Stroke
Indications and Contraindications for TPA
Risks and Benefits of TPA
Mechanical Thrombectomy, the Leading Edge of Stroke Treatment
Special Situations: Extending the 4.5-Hour Window and "Wake-Up Strokes"
Pearls & Pitfalls of Handling, Screening, and Litigating Stroke Cases
DR. BURTON BENTLEY II, M.D., FAAEM, is a board-certified Emergency Medicine physician and a nationally recognized authority on medical liability, informed consent, and complex issues at the intersections of Medicine, Business & Law. As CEO of Elite Medical Experts, Dr. Bentley and his team have consulted on over 8000 medicolegal matters totaling over $3B at risk. Dr. Bentley secured a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry as a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Arizona before earning his medical degree at the same institution where he was awarded Alpha Omega Alpha before graduating at the top of his class. Dr. Bentley then completed a residency in Emergency Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin where he served as a flight physician on nearly 100 emergency missions. He then practiced full-time Emergency Medicine as a Partner at Northwest Tucson Emergency Physicians for 21 years before stepping out to pursue a novel medical device that he patented and commercialized in 2016. Throughout his entre clinical career, Dr. Bentley consulted on complex medicolegal issues, and in 2010 he founded Elite Medical Experts, a consulting firm that aligns Professors of Medicine and Surgery as consulting and testifying experts in complex litigation. Elite serves over 4000 clients across the United States including law firms, governmental entities, corporate entities, and insurers. Dr. Bentley lectures extensively on medicolegal topics and consults strategically on medical negligence, informed consent, risk mitigation, and crisis management at the clinical practice level. More recently, Dr. Bentley co-founded Consent Spectrum, a digital platform to optimize informed consent for nearly every aesthetic medical procedure.
RUDY MASSA, Esq., is the founding partner of Massa Butler Giglione, a boutique medical negligence firm in Pittsburgh. Rudy earned his undergraduate degree in Biology at Pennsylvania State University before attending the National College of Chiropractic in Chicago where he earned his Doctor in Chiropractic medicine. Rudy practiced for a number of years before attending and graduating Cum Laude from the University of Miami school of Law. He is a now member of the Allegheny Academy of Trial Lawyers, an exclusive group of attorneys whose sole focus is trial advocacy, and a member in good standing of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, Florida Bar Association, Federal Claims Bar Association, American Bar Association, and the Allegheny County Bar Association. With a strong background in medicine, and as a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Rudy's law practice focuses exclusively on complex medical negligence and vaccine cases in which he has secured numerous multi-million dollar recoveries. In addition to his trial advocacy, Rudy has been responsible for several notable Pennsylvania Supreme Court cases including Reginelli v. Boggs, a case that gained national attention for precluding corporate medicine from abusing the peer-review privilege.
DR. ALEXANDER MERKLER, M.D., M.S., is a nationally recognized authority in the management of acute stroke who serves as an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Weill Cornell Medicine and as an attending neurologist at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell. Dr. Merkler secured his undergraduate degree at Brown University before graduating from medical school at NYU. He performed residency training at Cornell followed by Neurocritical Care fellowship at Cornell/Columbia. He is currently the Cornell Site Director of the joint Cornell/Columbia Neurocritical Care Fellowship, and Co-Director of the Cornell Multidisciplinary Critical Care Fellows Curriculum. He is also the Director of the TeleNeuroICU Program at Weill Cornell which provides acute teleneurology services including consultation for acute stroke. Dr. Merkler's research focuses on stroke prevention, and he has authored more than 100 peer reviewed publications on stroke as well as brain and spine injury. He is supported by an American Heart Association Career Development Award and a Weill Cornell Medicine Award to study Covid-19 and stroke. He was also a recipient of a KL2 Award from the National Institute of Health, and the Leon Levy Fellowship in Neuroscience. Dr. Merkler's clinical interests include acute stroke, infectious disease of the nervous system, subdural hematoma, intracerebral hemorrhage, and subarachnoid hemorrhage.
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