Boca Raton, Florida — A Florida doctor is getting a $5-million payout from the Big Pharma industry after a devastating brain injury, a jury ruled.
Thomas J. Zillman was an emergency room doctor in Boca, Florida, in 2004 when he fell to his death while taking medication for a severe brain injury.
The jury said in a unanimous ruling on Thursday that the $5.5 million payout from Big Pharma was unjustified and should be reversed.
Zillman’s lawyer, James G. Johnson, said the settlement with Big Pharma is a fair settlement and that the payout was not punitive.
Jury selection for a trial began in February and will begin next month.
Johnson said he will appeal the decision.
Jail records show Zillmann, 52, had an MRI scan in May of 2010 that showed a massive bleeding in his brain.
Zellman’s wife, Marjorie Zillmen, said in court that she believed the doctor was under the influence of the powerful painkillers oxycodone and hydrocodone and was in a coma.
They said Zillmans death was a result of brain injuries caused by his prescription medication.
The two-week trial was the first of its kind in Florida, the state with the second-highest number of people killed by opioids.
The jury found that Zillzman had a history of prescription drug abuse, but also said he was being compensated for the pain he caused him.
Johnson, of Orlando, called Zillmania a tragic, heart-wrenching and heart-rending situation.
He said Zellman had no prior history of opioid use and did not receive any prescription pain medication.ZILLMAN was working as a physician’s assistant and had been in regular medical practice for 18 years.
He was anesthesiologist, emergency physician and neurologist, Johnson said.
He said ZILLMAN did not suffer from any medical or psychiatric issues that would have caused him to be susceptible to pain medication, including depression.
Johnson said Zillermans health had been deteriorating for some time and that he had been experiencing seizures, seizures associated with the brain injury and an elevated body temperature.
Johnson called Zillerman’s death an accident and that it was “completely preventable” because of his care.