Katherine and Johanna Garcia lost their father, Enrique Garcia, in December 2017 after a medical procedure. The family filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against Dr. Essam Quraishi, who was represented by defense attorney Robert McKenna III. After winning the lawsuit, a video posted to his firm’s social media page showed McKenna gathered with his colleagues in an office celebration while ringing a victory bell, bragging about the verdict. In the video he states, “a guy that was probably negligently killed, but we kind of made it look like other people did it.” He goes on to say, “we managed to sock three lawyers in the face,” referencing the family’s attorneys.
Orange County Superior Court Judge James Crandall has now thrown out the verdict and granted a new trial. He made a statement, “I think I have to protect the system and say plaintiffs deserve a new trial.” After watching the celebration video, the judge said, “That seems like an admission of negligence. Seems like an admission the plaintiff should have prevailed.” Regarding McKenna’s bragging, he commented, “He’s a lawyer. But here’s the problem: bragging that justice wasn’t done, that’s what bothers the court.”
Enrique’s daughter, Johanna Garcia, reacted to the video saying, “It’s enraging, I never thought lawyers would ring a bell of someone who has passed away.”
About the Case
Enrique Garcia Sanchez, 49, was admitted to South Coast Global Medical Center in Santa Ana in November 2017 with severe abdominal pain from alcohol-related pancreatitis. According to the lawsuit, Dr. Quraishi inserted a feeding tube that accidentally pierced Enrique’s colon and led to a fatal infection. The death certificate reported sepsis and peritonitis due to a tube-perforated colon as the cause of death. McKenna, Quraishi’s defense attorney, recalled errors by other hospital staff and argued that Enrique died from other causes. He told jurors to disregard the death certificate and claimed the lawsuit was a form of “extortion.”
The judge acknowledged that a three-week break midtrial could have affected jurors’ recollection of information. He also noted that the jury foreman failed to mention during jury selection that he spent two years as an insurance agent, which might have warranted a new trial.
Tittle & Perlmuter’s Reaction
Along with Sanchez’s family, attorneys, and the general public, we are appalled at the behavior of this lawyer. In response to the video, attorney Allen Tittle stated, “Unfortunately, this video demonstrates the games that are played with people’s lives. While each side has a job to do, ultimately, we are supposed to be guided by the truth and that doesn’t seem to have happened here.” Contact our firm today to discuss a medical malpractice claim.