Cristy Chait focuses her practice exclusively in the area of medical liability and health care, and serves as the firm’s co-chair of the Medical Liability and Health Care Trial Group. She is dedicated to defending all types of medical service providers, nursing homes and hospitals, and counsels clients in various health care administrative issues. An avid supporter of women in the law, Cristy is an active member of the Arizona Women Lawyers Association and leads the firm’s Women Lawyers Affinity Group.
Throughout her 25-year career, Cristy has taken 12 cases to trial. Below are two recent successes:
• Obtained a defense verdict in 7-day jury trial involving allegations of medical malpractice.
Case Summary: Cristy and another JSH attorney, Cory Tyszka, defended a physician against allegations of medical malpractice arising from an endoscopic procedure. The Plaintiff alleged that the procedure was not indicated and that Defendant was negligent in performing the procedure while Plaintiff remained on Plavix, causing Plaintiff to suffer a severe internal hemorrhage and associated complications. Defendant maintained that he met the standard of care in ordering the procedure and continuing Plaintiff’s Plavix. Defendant further claimed that Plaintiff’s alleged ongoing damages were caused by preexisting conditions. Plaintiff claimed approximately $1,000,000 in damages due to pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment of life, medical bills, and expenses.
• Obtained defense verdict in $1.2-million wrongful death medical malpractice case.
Case Summary: Cristy obtained a defense verdict in favor of her client, an emergency room physician, in a wrongful death medical malpractice action. Plaintiff alleged the physician fell below the standard of care when she discharged Plaintiff’s son after an 11-hour emergency room observation due to a methadone drug overdose. Plaintiff’s son was discharged and sent home with his mother. Approximately 24 hours later, the son was found deceased. Defendant physician denied liability, indicating that before discharge, the son was ambulatory, had normal vital signs, participated in a mental health examination, and was answering questions and cooperating with hospital staff appropriately. Defendants argued that the son’s death was not caused by the physician’s actions or care in the emergency department. Plaintiffs asked the jury for $1.2 million, and after deliberating for two hours, the jury returned a defense verdict.
Professional Associations & Memberships
- State Bar of Arizona, Member
- Arizona Women Lawyers Association, Member
- Banner Health, Institutional Review Board, Member
Professional Recognition & Awards
- Pro Bono Attorney of the Year, Volunteer Lawyers Program, 2006
- Top Pro Bono Attorney, Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education
Presentations & Publications
- “How to Avoid the Hot Seat: Good Claims Handling in Arizona,” Presenter, 2014 JSH Annual Seminar: It’s All Fun and Games Until Someone Gets Hurt, November 2014
- “Nursing Home Litigation: Past, Present and Future,” Presenter, Arizona Health Care Association Annual Conference, 2007
- “Making Sense of Medical Cases in Arizona,” Presenter, Institute for Paralegal Education, August 2004
- “Claims of Discrimination by Physicians Based on Patient Disability,” Presenter, MICA, July 2000
- “Confidentiality of Drug and Alcohol Treatment Records,” Presenter, Medical Educational Development Services, July 1999
- “Confidentiality of Medical Records,” Presenter, Medical Education Development Services, September 1998
- “Changing the Legal Landscape of the Long Term Care Industry,” Presenter, Arizona Health Care Association Annual Convention, August 1998
- “Release of Psychiatric Treatment Records,” Presenter, Medical Educational Development Services, July 1998
- “Medical Malpractice Defense,” Presenter, National Business Institute, 2010
- “Healthcare Law,” Presenter, National Association of Legal Assistants, 2010
Certifications / Specialties
Fluent in Spanish
Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., 1993
Georgia Tech B.S., Industrial Management, 1990
4-year NCAA Tennis Team Academic All-ACC
U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit