Cardiologist Seeks $27M From Doctor for Brain Damage During Electroshock Treatment

A South Florida cardiologist is seeking to recover damages for devastating injuries he reportedly suffered during a botched electroshock therapy session. According to Courtroom View Network, plaintiff in Dadi v. Sharma is asking defendant psychiatrist to pay $27 million in damages. 

During opening statements, as broadcast gavel-to-gavel by CVN, plaintiff’s medical malpractice attorneys explained how he was a nuclear cardiologist. He fluently spoke five languages. Now, as a result of the substandard care he received from defendant, he is unable to even practice medicine. He is unable to remember the movie he last watched, let alone read and comprehend a medical journal.

Plaintiff’s attorney described his brain injury as both severe and profound. 

Plaintiff sought treatment from defendant psychiatrist for depression after his medical partnership dissolved. The pervasiveness of depression among doctors is well-documented. For example, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) revealed physicians in training are at high risk for depression, with almost 30 percent showing signs or symptoms. It’s estimated 400 physicians commit suicide annually, and as The New York Times pointed out not long ago, doctors tend to be hesitant to admit they may be wrestling with mental illness.

The cardiologist was one of those who pursued help. He agreed to undergo electroshock therapy treatments as part of his therapy plan. The Mayo Clinic website describes these treatments as a series of procedures wherein electric currents pass through an individual’s brain, which in turn triggers a short seizure.

Some doctors believe this can alter a patient’s brain chemistry, which can in turn reverse certain types of depression and other mental health ailments.

However, the procedure is known to be risky too and extreme caution is necessary. In this case, plaintiff alleges the doctor delivered doses of electricity that were much higher than advised by standard protocol.

As a result, according to the lawsuit, plaintiff is permanently brain damaged. He no longer has the ability to think critically or comprehend complex principles. He is unable to drive or perform other daily activities, let alone practice medicine.

The 57-year-old is also arguing now that he did not give informed consent to the procedure because the consent he did give came only after his judgment was allegedly impaired by the antipsychotic prescriptions he had been taking over the course of several days.

In fact, he declined electroshock therapy five times previously before he finally relented. The personal injury attorney called those five refusals, “A big red flag” that patient did not want these treatments and did not grant informed consent.

Defense argues the cardiologist was at risk for suicide, and that is why the electroshock therapy was recommended. In fact, he’d reportedly attempted suicide three times before he was hospitalized. Defense contends that medical professionals who treated the physician both before and during his hospitalization all concurred that this treatment was appropriate and needed. The only ones who disagree, defense lawyers say, are those who are reviewing it with the benefit of hindsight.

Defense further asserts the psychiatrist adhered to proper protocol in administering the therapy and that the correct voltage was used. Further, defense argues that the therapy didn’t cause the doctor’s current condition because there has never before been documentation of a case where the side effects involved things plaintiff is claiming, such as: Forgetting languages, clapping like a seal, sinister laughing at inappropriate times, forgetting faces, forgetting lifelong memories and more.

Plaintiff intends to present evidence to the contrary and prove causation and failure to adhere to the applicable standard of care.

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Additional Resources:

$27M Med Mal Trial Opens Over Claims Electroshock Treatment Damaged Cardiologist’s Brain, Oct. 17, 2016, By Arlin Crisco, CVN

More Blog Entries:

Page v. Moses Taylor Hospital – Twins’ Death Medical Malpractice Settlement for $4.25M Not Sealed, Aug. 26, 2016, Boca Raton Medical Malpractice Lawyer Blog