Dave Chmiel joined Matis Baum O’Connor in 2009 and focuses his practice in the defense of physicians and dentists, hospitals and long term care facilities and a host of other healthcare and medical providers, including physicians assistants, nurses, physical therapists and certified nurse anesthetists to name a few.
Mr. Chmiel pursued his undergraduate degree in political science at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN. Upon graduation, he attended the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Mr. Chmiel began his career at a small five-attorney firm in Pittsburgh where he began to develop his trial skills handling general liability cases, including motor vehicle accidents and premises liability claims, as well as medical negligence matters. Mr. Chmiel continued to pursue his interests in medical negligence defense at a significantly larger firm based out of Philadelphia, PA until arriving at MBO.
He is also a Fellow of the Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County, membership to which is extended only to litigators who have demonstrated outstanding ability and experience in their fields.
Obtained a defense verdict in favor of a general surgeon following three weeks of trial. The plaintiff had undergone surgery for a colovesical fistula. He subsequently developed an abscess, which was treated with drainage and antibiotics. Two months after the initial surgery, plaintiff presented to the emergency department with complaints of abdominal pain. The general surgeon performed an exploratory surgery, but was unable to mobilize the colon and/or locate the site of the earlier anastomosis. Therefore, he did a diverting loop ileostomy and placed a drain. Postoperatively, the plaintiff developed complications, and there was brown drainage from the drain. Plaintiff alleged that, due to the negligence of the surgeon, he went into septic shock, requiring use of pressors. Due poor perfusion of the extremities, plaintiff ultimately underwent bilateral amputations of both legs below the knees and also lost the thumb and index finger of one of his hands.
Obtained a defense verdict for a board certified urologist in a case in which the plaintiff alleged that the physician was negligent in failing to order diagnostic tests in a timely fashion, resulting in a delay in diagnosis of bladder cancer.
Obtained a defense verdict in favor of a ophthalmologist after plaintiff alleged that the physician was negligent in the pre-operative work-up before LASIK surgery. Plaintiff further alleged negligence in the post-operative management of the plaintiff as well as failure to give a proper informed consent.
Obtained a defense verdict in favor of a board certified family practice physician in a wrongful death and survival action. Plaintiff alleged that the physician was negligent in the management of Coumadin, resulting in the decedent taking an excessive amount of the blood thinner. Decedent ultimately suffered an intracranial hemorrhage, and died.
Plaintiff alleged that the prosthodontist failed to properly measure the vertical dimension of occlusion, resulting in an ill-fitting and uncomfortable prosthesis and complaints of TMJ. A defense verdict was returned after nearly three weeks of trial.
Obtained a defense verdict for a home health care nurse agency following trial where plaintiffs alleged that the nurses and other defendants failed to properly care for and treat their mother, a resident of a personal care home, who developed decubitis ulcers and recurrent urinary tract infections.
Publications and Presentations
Recent Legislation and Cases in Professional Malpractice
- 23RD Annual Civil Litigation Update, PBI, Pittsburgh PA
Update in Medical Malpractice Law, CLE
Mr. Chmiel also served as a presiding judge and scoring judge for the American Association for Justice’s Student Trial Advocacy Competition