Fort Mohave doctor wins nearly $8M in lawsuit

July 31, 2018

A Fort Mohave urologist last week won the largest lawsuit in Mohave County’s history when he was awarded almost $8 million in damages.

The verdict was rendered against Las Vegas attorney Jeffrey Cogan, who represented the family of a medical patient in a 2014 wrongful death lawsuit against Fort Mohave doctor Arnoldo Trabucco.

In 2012, Trabucco evaluated a patient, Gerald Scharf, and identified a tumor in one of Scharf’s kidneys. According to court records, the doctor spoke with Scharf’s family about surgery to remove the mass and explained the various complications and risks associated with such a surgery.

According to statements from Scharf’s wife, Helen Scharf, Trabucco did not tell her of the risk of paralysis or death associated with the surgery, nor did he tell her of any alternatives to surgery. On Sept. 24, 2012, Trabucco surgically removed one of Gerald Scharf’s kidneys.

Trabucco was informed that Scharf had lost sensation in his legs and feet the following day. Scharf was transported to a Las Vegas hospital, where it was discovered that a major artery had clogged following the operation, according to court records. A second surgery was performed, but Scharf died Sept. 27, 2012.

According to the 2014 complaint, Cogan alleged Scharf’s surgery was performed negligently. Scharf’s family sued Trabucco for medical malpractice and wrongful death. A U.S. District Court judge dismissed the case in 2017.

Wilenchik & Bartness, a Phoenix-based law firm, represented Trabucco in his lawsuit this year for damage to Trabucco’s reputation as result of the 2014 claim against him. According to the law firm, Scharf died of natural causes, and Scharf’s wife expressed that she didn’t believe Trabucco was personally responsible for her husband’s death.

Trabucco was awarded $6,232,000 in compensatory damages and $1,768,000 in punitive damages against Cogan’s law firm, according to court records.

The second-highest amount of money won in a Mohave County lawsuit was given in 2010, when $1.25 million was awarded in a medical malpractice case.

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