BRAIN SURGERY … IN SEVEN MINUTES FLAT. … WOW! Could Dr. Alessio really be that good? Or is this neurosurgeon just that bad? Determining exactly what happened to Rocco—a kindly older fella, who strolls into the hospital his smiling self but is wheeled out fighting to form a grin—is the goal of New York lawyer Tug Wyler. One thing’s for sure: a happy birthday it was not for Rocco Rotolo.
But Tug will tell you, when it comes to brain surgery, bad stuff can happen. Even in the best of surgical hands. Which is why—despite Tug’s passion to procure justice—Tug declined to get involved. Yet, on the eve of jury selection, Tug gets looped, duped, and hoodwinked into litigating Rocco’s malpractice case. A trial in which two opposing crime families agree to waive their code of silence and to resolve their dispute the old-fashioned way—in court. Well, kind of.
Can Tug’s creative legal thinking find an angle, a theory of recovery, something, anything, even a hint of what Dr. Alessio might have done wrong to overcome the fact that nine independent medical experts—who reviewed the matter on behalf of Rocco’s prior attorney—have already opined that there is no case?
Rocco’s Case, Tug Wyler & Me
The alleged medical malpractice that caused Rocco’s brain injury occurred while he was on the operating table. Thus, the well-loved family man who woke up that morning not planning for catastrophe emerged from anesthesia a familiar stranger not only to his family … but also to himself.
Rocco’s Case embodies what I know so well having represented numerous traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivors during my legal career: that TBI is a complex injury, comprising a broad spectrum of symptoms and disabilities. Rocco’s life situation further illustrates that the effect brain injury has on the survivor and the family is distressing from the initial shock and despair—through the recovery phases—resulting in a life of continuous coping and problem solving.
And Tug? … Well, he violates the most important rule of his personal code of conduct. The very first life lesson appearing on the Wyler Wisdom tab List of Philosophical Precepts. The one that states Know what you know and know what you don’t know.
Tug’s conduct by initially declining to represent Rocco without a full and complete case review was nothing less than apathetic. Wyler’s deep experience in litigating brain injury cases worked against him here, as he thought he knew something that he didn’t know. Tug drank the Kool-Aid the defense bar has been trying to pour down his throat for years by prematurely concluding that Rocco’s poor outcome was a risk and a complication of the procedure.
Personally, I’m more than a little disappointed in Tug.
At least I admit it.