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Awards & Recognition

Nancy is on the frontlines fighting for victims' rights.

Nancy La Vista is a board-certified civil trial attorney and board certified in medical malpractice.  She is a founding partner at Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Prather & Littky-Rubin. As a former critical care nurse, Nancy La Vista uses her extensive knowledge of the healthcare industry to help clients with every type of medical malpractice claim including birth injuries, failure to diagnose, delayed diagnosis, or misdiagnosis, surgical errors, and wrongful death. In addition, Nancy specializes in health-related claims including medical products and negligent medical credentialing and medical whistleblower. 

In her 30 years of representing injured clients, Nancy has earned numerous seven-figure verdicts and settlements for her clients throughout Florida and the United States. 

Some of Nancy’s most notable cases include a $35,000,000 verdict for the family whose son was born with severe birth defects due to medical negligence while at the hospital. Four years after an appeal, two declaratory actions, and a claim’s bill, the matter settled helping this child and family. 

In another case, Nancy obtained an $11,500,000 verdict for a client who was left brain-damaged after surgery to insert steel rods into his spine, which migrated into his brain. Nancy and partner David C. Prather provided evidence that the neurosurgeon should have not been allowed to perform the surgery as he lacked the training or experience to properly perform it. The jury awarded the significant verdict, which the Medical Center appealed. The Fourth District upheld almost the entire verdict.

An advocate for all women, Nancy led an all-female trial team on behalf of a Single Mother Injured in a Rear-End Crash. The trial lasted 4-days when the female trial team secured a $4,900,000.00 verdict. 

For more than 20 years, Nancy has been recognized by the Best Lawyers in America for her work on behalf of plaintiffs in Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury Litigation, and Product Liability Litigation. For over 8 years, Nancy earned TOP 50: Women Lawyers in Florida and TOP: 100 Lawyers in Miami by Super Lawyers. In 2021, Nancy was selected as Florida’s Legal Elite by the Florida Trend’s Magazine and Palm Beach Illustrated’s Top Lawyers of 2021. In 2012, Nancy was recognized as a finalist in the Daily Business Review’s Most Effective Lawyers. 

In 2010, during Nancy’s term as president of the Palm Beach County Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) was voted Chapter of the Year. In 2011 and again in 2013, Nancy was voted Palm Beach County Chapter’s Trial Lawyer of the Year. In 2013, Nancy served as the President of the state branch, Florida American Board of Trial Advocates and was recognized as the Palm Beach County’s Trial Lawyer of the Year. 

Nancy’s hobbies include her passions of horseback riding and competitive bill fishing. 


Legal Victories

Female Trial Team Obtains $4.98 Million Verdict

Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Prather & Littky-Rubin is pleased to announce that its all-female trial team, attorneys Shana P. Nogues and Jennifer A. Dinetz, and partner Nancy La Vista, successfully secured a $4.98 million verdict for their deserving client, Jennie Pagan, who suffered significant injuries as a result of a rear-end collision accident.

Ms. Pagan was on her way to work in her Honda Accord when she was stopped in traffic. Unfortunately, the defendant driver of a Ford F-550 truck crashed into her from behind. The sudden impact resulted in a painful C5-6 disc herniation in her neck. The injury required Jennie to undergo physical therapy, pain management treatment, and ultimately necessitated cervical disc replacement surgery.

While the defendant admitted fault for rear-ending Ms. Pagan and admitted that she did, in fact, sustain “some” injuries, the Driver and his Insurance Company, Progressive, refused to accept that she was permanently injured, or that her life-changing surgery was caused by the crash.

Ms. Pagan incurred about $186,000 in medical expenses and is expected to require future medical treatment.

In trial, Ms. Nogues and Ms. Dinetz proved that Ms. Pagan suffered a permanent injury. They focused on the extensive medical treatment and therapy she underwent in her effort to get better. They highlighted the immense pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life that Ms. Pagan has suffered and will continue to endure for the rest of her life, and how those injuries sidelined this single mother from being able to fully participate in life with her young daughter.

By taking the time to understand the full scope of how this accident and injuries impacted our 43-year-old client, attorneys Shana P. Nogues, Jennifer A. Dinetz, and Nancy La Vista were able to convince a Broward county jury to fully compensate Jennie Pagan for all that she has suffered and will continue to suffer into the future.

Nancy La Vista and Michael Smith Win $3 Million in Arbitration in Medical Negligence Case

Attorneys Nancy La Vista and Michael S. Smith won a $3,079,966.33 arbitration award plus $461,994.95 in attorney’s fees for their clients for the wrongful death of a wife and mother of five.

On March 6, 2019, the patient presented to the hospital and was admitted. Despite a pending consult and severely abnormal blood work, the hospitalist discharged the patient.

Having worsened, the patient returned to the hospital. She was then erroneously diagnosed. Although transferred to an Orlando facility for treatment and the correct diagnosis made, it was too little too late. The patient died on March 20, 2019.

Nancy La Vista and Michael S. Smith represented the Personal Representatives on behalf of the surviving spouse and the four surviving children under 25. Sadly, Florida law prevents surviving children over the age of 25 from bringing a wrongful death claim as a result of medical malpractice.

At arbitration, the attorneys were able to demonstrate the devastation caused to this young family before the victim’s death.

Negligent Placement of a Feeding Tube Causes Devastating Death of Patient

Partners Nancy La Vista and Mark W. Clark filed a wrongful death suit against a hospital for the negligent placement of a feeding tube, resulting in the devastating death of decedent.

While in the hospital, decedent underwent a feeding tube placement during the recovery from a mild stroke. The feeding tube was initially placed by a doctor into the stomach, however, the tube became dislodged and was replaced by nursing staff. 

Inexplicably, the nursing staff began feeding the decedent before they obtained an x-ray to confirm proper placement of the tube in the stomach. After the decedent began gasping for air, it was determined that the feeding tube was inadvertently inserted into the lung and punctured through it. As a result, the decedent developed pneumonia and sepsis, causing a horrendous and untimely death.

After key depositions were taken, a confidential settlement was reached with the hospital on behalf of the surviving spouse to resolve this horrendous wrongful death case.

Settlement Reached in Defective Horse Saddle Case 

Our client purchased an expensive foreign-made saddle online. After mounting the saddle to her horse, she attached grab straps to the metal “D” rings on the saddle. While riding the horse she pulled on the straps and the “D” rings failed causing her to be thrown from the horse and suffer multiple severe orthopedic injuries requiring surgery and prolonged postoperative care.

After investigating the incident, Partner Nancy La Vista brought a claim against the saddle manufacturer alleging that the saddle is defectively designed and lacked appropriate instructions and warnings. Ultimately, La Vista was able to reach a confidential settlement in the case with the manufacturer of the saddle.

Confidential Settlement Reached for Failure to Diagnose Critical Condition Resulting in Death

After surgeries or with use of narcotics, it is not uncommon to have decreased bowel function. Called an ileus, the bowel acts like it is paralyzed. Consequently, any oral intake is not digested placing the patient at risk for regurgitation, vomiting and aspiration. CFLPL has had multiple cases where simply placing an NG tube to suction would decompress the bowel and allow it to be appropriately managed. Without appropriate management, the patient is at risk of cardiac arrhythmias, aspiration and death.

In this most recent case, the patient aspirated and died. Partner Nancy La Vista and Attorney Michael Smith successfully resolved the case for a confidential amount on behalf of the surviving spouse.

Confidential Settlement Reached for Failure to Diagnose Critical Condition Leading to Paraplegia

In less than a week our client visited the emergency room four times and called for emergency medical care from her home after experiencing increasingly severe back pain and presenting a fever. The symptoms were indicative of an epidural abscess, but the failure to diagnose the critical condition left our patient paraplegic.

When a patient presents to the emergency room with the constellation of back pain, fever, and diabetes an epidural abscess should be ruled out. In this case, a communication error allowed the patient to be discharged before a full workup was completed, which resulted in catastrophic damages. 

An epidural abscess is an infection that forms in the space between your skull bones and your brain lining, often near the spinal cord. The underlying infection leads to extreme back pain and requires immediate medical attention.

Partner Nancy La Vista and Attorney Michael Smith successfully resolved the case for a confidential amount that will increase our patient’s quality of life and lessen her concern about her inability to work in the future. 

Confidential Settlement Reached on Behalf of Infant for the Wrongful Death of her Mother Following Childbirth 

Partner Nancy La Vista and Attorney Michael Smith obtained a confidential settlement on behalf of an infant for the death of her mother just hours after childbirth. 

After a cesarean delivery, the child’s mother sustained a postpartum hemorrhage that went undiagnosed and untreated, ultimately leading to the death of the new 26-year-old mother. With no identification of any father, the baby was adopted by her aunt in Florida. 

Nancy La Vista and Michael S. Smith Obtain Confidential Settlement for Brain-Damaged 13-Year-Old Girl Who Also Suffered an Amputation

Our clients took their daughter, who was simply diagnosed with bronchitis, to the emergency room when she spiked a 105 fever. In the emergency room, she was diagnosed with pneumonia. Concerned about sepsis, an echocardiogram was ordered.

Three days after it was performed – and while the child’s condition was worsening – it was read as normal. In reality, the echocardiogram showed vegetation in the right ventricle of the heart – a diagnosis that requires immediate medical treatment. Because of her worsening condition, the parents arranged for their daughter to be transported to a tertiary center children’s hospital for critical care, where it was discovered that the original echocardiogram was misread, and that the left and right ventricles now had vegetation.

Despite emergency treatment, the child suffered clots throughout her body resulting in a massive stroke and amputation of her left leg. After three years of investigation and litigation, which included more than 100 doctors and 20 expert witnesses, Partner Nancy La Vista, Attorney Michael S. Smith and the medical malpractice team at Clark Fountain resolved the case for a confidential amount.

The settlement will provide financial security for the young girl and her family and allow her to continue to receive proper medical care for the rest of her life.