Delia Michael v. Kenneth Slack et  al.

Case Background

The Medical Malpractice lawsuit was filed on August 13, 2021 by Plaintiff Delia Michael in the Florida State, Orange County, Ninth Circuit Court (Case number: 2021-CA-008154-O ) and was presided over by the Judge Margaret H Schreiber.


On May 19, 2019, Delia Michael was transported by ambulance to Orlando Health’s Emergency Department following a fainting episode that resulted in a fall. She hit her face on concrete, causing a broken tooth and a puncture to her lip. Dr. Kenneth Slack, the attending physician employed by Orlando Health, oversaw Michael’s treatment in the emergency department. As part of her diagnostic workup, Michael underwent various tests, including a CT scan.

This scan revealed the presence of foreign bodies, presumed to be tooth fragments, in her lip. The CT report also indicated other injuries, including broken teeth and a bone fracture near the root of a tooth. Despite these findings, Dr. Slack, while repairing the lacerations to Michael’s lip, failed to remove the foreign bodies. He erroneously documented in the medical records that no foreign body was present, directly contradicting the CT report. Michael was subsequently discharged without being informed about the foreign bodies in her lip, the full extent of her injuries, or the urgent need for dental or endodontic care.


As a consequence of the foreign bodies left in her lip, Michael experienced a range of complications. She suffered from persistent facial pain and acute swelling in her lower lip region. The day following her emergency room visit, Michael consulted Dr. Winton, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, who reset her broken teeth and informed her for the first time about the full extent of her known injuries. Despite this follow-up care, Michael’s pain and discomfort continued for approximately a month.

A second CT scan on June 19, 2019, confirmed the ongoing presence of foreign bodies in her lip. This discovery necessitated a referral to a plastic surgeon, who surgically removed the tooth fragments from Michael’s lip. The incident and subsequent complications have left Michael with ongoing pain, numbness, and swelling in her lower lip area. She also bears a facial scar and suffers from other continuing and potentially permanent impairments.


The alleged negligent treatment forced Michael to undergo additional medical procedures, most notably the surgery to extract the foreign bodies from her lip. She endured infection, prolonged swelling, scarring, numbness, discomfort, and physical limitations.

Many of these damages are ongoing, and some may prove to be permanent, significantly impacting her quality of life. Beyond the physical toll, the incident had professional repercussions for Michael. She was unable to work or attend professional conferences, resulting in lost income and missed opportunities for bonuses. The combination of physical suffering, emotional distress, and financial losses constitutes the basis for her damage claim.

Key Arguments and Proceedings

Legal representation



The lawsuit alleges medical negligence against both Orlando Health and Dr. Kenneth Slack. The plaintiffs assert that the defendants breached the standard of care through multiple failures. These include the failure to thoroughly review the CT results, the failure to properly explore and clean the laceration, the failure to remove the identified foreign bodies, and the failure to inform Michael about the presence of these foreign bodies and the associated risks.

Additionally, the complaint cites the defendants’ failure to provide complete information about Michael’s injuries and necessary follow-up care as further evidence of negligence. The lawsuit contends that had Michael received proper medical care in accordance with accepted standards, she would not have suffered these complications or required additional surgery.


The defendants denied most allegations while admitting to providing care on the date in question. The defense argued that Michael was partially at fault for her injuries and that other parties might share responsibility. They sought to limit their liability through various legal mechanisms, including setoffs for collateral source payments and statutory damage caps. The defendants also claimed that Michael’s lawsuit might be barred by the statute of limitations and that she failed to comply with pre-suit requirements. They invoked the Florida Good Samaritan Act to argue for a higher standard of proof and alleged that Michael failed to mitigate her damages.

 Expert Testimony

The plaintiff, Delia Michael, designated Dr. Andrew Gaugler, an emergency medicine specialist, to testify about the standard of care and how Dr. Slack and Orlando Health allegedly failed to meet it. Additionally, the plaintiff named Dr. Nathan Eberle, a plastic surgeon, to address causation and damages.

The defendants designated Dr. Benjamin J. Brown, a plastic surgeon, to address causation and damages. They also listed Dr. Steven R. Schimmele, an oral surgeon, for similar topics. Dr. Michael J. VanRooyen, an emergency medicine specialist, was designated to testify about standard of care, causation, and damages. Dr. Stephen Ira Haire, an emergency medicine specialist from Largo, Florida, was selected to testify regarding standard of care, causation, and damages, drawing from his examination of case materials and medical expertise. Dr. Steven R. Schimmele, an oral surgeon based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, was chosen to provide testimony on causation and damages, relying on his analysis of medical records, depositions, and his professional background.

Jury Verdict

On May 24, 2024, the jury determined that there was no negligence on the part of the Defendant. Consequently, they delivered verdict in favor of the Defendant and against the Plaintiff.

Court Documents:

Available Upon Request