Malpractice Lawyer Gloats at Gain, Then Places Foot in Mouth

During the closing arguments in a $10 million malpractice demo, lawyer Robert McKenna III explained to jurors the statements versus his customer, a gastroenterologist, were being baseless and equal to “extortion.” The patient’s loved ones blamed the gastroenterologist for their father’s demise, alleging the doctor perforated his colon in the course of insertion of a feeding tube. 

“I consider pride in what I do, and I’ve obtained to inform you, in the 30 years I have been executing this, I have never ever noticed a additional insulting, factually devoid presentation in my whole profession,” McKenna explained, in accordance to courtroom transcripts. “On the toughness of this proof, they want you to award them $10 million. Welcome to The united states. Welcome to the particular injury machine, the individual personal injury industrial intricate.”

Immediately after fewer than 30 minutes of deliberation, jurors returned a 12- verdict in favor of the medical doctor.

On the other hand, McKenna, from Huntington Beach front, California, explained the circumstance very in another way to his staff members in a celebration video, which he never envisioned to develop into general public.


In the video, posted on Twitter and Instagram, McKenna brags about how his authorized group convinced jurors to question the patient’s formal lead to of dying. He suggests the lawsuit concerned a dude “that was possibly negligently killed, but we form of designed it look like other persons did it.”

“We basically had a dying certificate that mentioned he died the really way the plaintiff said he died, and we had to say, ‘No, you truly should not imagine what that dying certification states, or the coroner from the Orange County coroner’s workplace … who says that it’s appropriate,’” McKenna says in the movie.

The 26-minute verdict was the swiftest he’s at any time acquired, McKenna says in the video, encouraging his companion to ring the firm’s victory bell.

“Overcoming all of people hurdles, we managed to sock 3 legal professionals in the encounter,” McKenna suggests, referring to the plaintiffs’ legal professionals. 

The video of McKenna’s remarks is now in huge circulation right after possessing been posted to on the net legal professional message boards, Instagram, where it’s been seen additional than 8,000 periods, and Twitter, in which sights have reached over 3,000.

Jorge Ledezma, an Orange County, California, lawyer who represented the patient’s relatives in the scenario, explained the remarks make it appear as if McKenna tricked the jury.

“It was a drastic improve from the opinions he designed to the jury for the duration of his closing arguments,” Ledezma explained. “But the video clip is far more important for what he does not say. He doesn’t say his consumer did anything adequately. He doesn’t say our situation did not have any benefit. He does not say his client was a fantastic health care provider. Evidently, what he told the jury and what he thinks are the exact reverse of every single other.”

McKenna did not return numerous messages seeking remark for this tale. In a assertion to the LA Situations, McKenna said his remarks had been “intended purely as an inner briefing to our staff members, making use of shorthand phrases which may possibly understandably result in confusion for a lay audience unfamiliar with the case at hand, and the regulation in common.”

“I have expressed my apologies to my consumer, opposing counsel, and each the professional medical and lawful communities,” McKenna said in the statement to the LA Times. “However, nothing at all about my remarks need to connect with into dilemma our really clear trial system or the jury’s verdict in favor of my shopper.”

What Occurred to the Individual?

Enrique Garcia Sanchez, 49, arrived at the important care unit at South Coastline Worldwide Health-related Centre in Santa Ana, California, on Nov. 5, 2017, complaining of stomach soreness. He was identified with acute pancreatitis, acute hypokalemia, and liquor abuse, and transferred to the intense treatment unit, according to the family’s legal complaint. 

Sanchez experienced a optimistic D-Dimer test, indicating a possible blood clot, and he appeared to be dealing with septic shock owing to pancreatitis, according to the complaint. By Nov. 17, Sanchez was suffering from respiratory failure and serious hypoxemia, and as a end result, he was sedated. In addition, his stomach was described as distended with reduced bowel sounds, in accordance to courtroom paperwork.  

On. Nov. 18, a gastrointestinal specialist was consulted thanks to Sanchez’s extended intubation and oropharyngeal dysphagia, according to the lawsuit. On Nov. 21, air was leaking from Sanchez’s breathing tube with diffuse infiltration mentioned on the proper facet, and pneumonia.

Sanchez was finally unable to swallow, and the gastroenterologist inserted a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube, in accordance to court docket information. 

Sanchez’s condition worsened, and he created respiratory distress, hypotension, and weak spot for the duration of dialysis. On Dec. 9, 2017, doctors noted he had a bacterial an infection, and he was later on intubated on vent aid for the reason that of progressive respiratory failure. Moreover, an internist described that “fecal material” was observed per the PEG tube. Sanchez’s white blood mobile count continued to rise, and his ailment deteriorated. Sanchez died on Dec. 31, 2017.

A loss of life certificate concluded that Sanchez died from troubles of a PEG tube that perforated his colon, according to Ledezma. The plaintiffs’ authorized workforce argued the gastroenterologist breached the common of care by failing to make certain the tube was put adequately and failing to remedy the mistake after leakage was noted. 

“Mr. Garcia died due to the fact of a misplaced PEG tube that perforated the colon, ensuing in peritonitis and sepsis,” attorney Jose Robles mentioned in the course of his closing arguments. “Mr. Garcia experienced ascites, a contraindication for PEG tube placement. He had ileus, a contraindication for PEG tube placement. The standard of treatment demands that [the gastroenterologist] carry out a appropriate workup to validate that a PEG tube placement can be completed correctly and properly.”

McKenna argued the gastroenterologist was not at fault for the patient’s death, and that problems from his pancreatitis eventually killed him. In the course of the demo, physicians who cared for Sanchez testified the affected individual had a significantly less than 50% prospect of survival.     

“What he experienced was conclude-phase catastrophic [pancreatitis] that was affecting his organ procedure and aspiration pneumonia that produced it impossible for him to check out to breath on his possess,” McKenna explained throughout closing arguments. “The person … had a catastrophic harm that ate most of his pancreas. That is not a survivable occasion.”

Lawyer Faces Backlash From Authorized Group

Given that his celebratory remarks ended up posted on the net, McKenna has confronted a great deal backlash, specially from the lawful neighborhood.

@mgvolada tweeted, “As an lawyer I am revolted and I hope sanctions adhere to … this is why individuals loathe attorneys.”

@stevewieland, who determined himself as a trial attorney, wrote he would not experience excellent about successful this kind of a case.

“No wonder we get no really like from the general public,” he tweeted.

“Let’s see how the Court docket of Appeals thinks about your braggadocio and how this tends to make legal professionals show up to the general public,” tweeted @Stephen60134955, a self-identified attorney.

McKenna’s license remains energetic and in fantastic standing with no disciplinary steps, according to the Point out Bar of California internet site.

Ledezma has filed a movement for a new trial, and a hearing on the movement is scheduled for Aug. 4, 2022. The movement was filed mainly for the reason that of difficulties throughout the trial, what Ledezma described as “inflammatory closing arguments,” and in modest component, McKenna’s movie remarks, he said.

If the movement is denied, the plaintiffs will go ahead with an charm, he said.

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