Sauter Sullivan’s client was diagnosed with terminal cancer and was suffering from the debilitating effects of the disease. The client developed a urinary tract infection and was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital in St. Louis, where x-rays revealed that the cancer has metastasized and was now in her bones.
A student nurse from St. Louis Community College decided the patient needed to be moved up in her bed, and rather than using a draw sheet, the proper method for moving a patient in bed, the student nurse pulled the patient by the arm and broke her humerus, the long bone in the upper arm. Due to the severity of the patient’s cancer, she could not undergo an operation to fix the fracture, and lived the rest of her life on a morphine drip. The patient died from cancer approximately three months after this incident.
Matt Sauter of the Sauter Sullivan law firm took the Medical Malpractice case on behalf of the personal representatives of the patient’s estate. Defense lawyers insisted that the case had no value because the patient had died of her cancer a few months after the arm fracture. The hospital and the college offered a settlement of $15,000. Matt Sauter believed the client’s case was worth far more than this because of the pain and suffering the patient had undergone for the last three months of her life, when she had constant pain and could not communicate with her loved ones because she was on a morphine drip. On behalf of the estate’s representatives, Matt refused the defense lawyers’ offer and tried the case before a jury in the city of St. Louis. The jury agreed with Sauter Sullivan’s arguments for their client, and awarded $120,000.