Brandon Henry and Tom Rottinghaus successfully defended our clients, a local surgeon and medical group, in a jury trial in Jackson County, Missouri, in which the plaintiffs asserted claims of medical malpractice and wrongful death and sought damages in the amount of $2,465,347.24.
Plaintiffs claimed that our clients were negligent for failing to fully repair the patient’s long-standing, giant paraesophageal hernia during a surgical procedure in July 2013. Further, Plaintiffs contended that our clients were negligent for failing to place a nasogastric tube or gastrostomy tube during or following surgery for purposes of reducing the risk and effects of gastroparesis (dysmotility of the stomach) and aspiration. Lastly, Plaintiffs claimed our clients departed from the standard of care by advancing the patient’s diet post-operatively and that such further increased the risk of aspiration and related problems. Plaintiffs claimed that the actions and decisions of our clients lead to the patient experiencing post-operative vomiting, aspiration, aspiration pneumonia, sepsis and death.
We successfully argued that the surgical procedure selected for the patient was the most appropriate option for him due to his age and overall medical condition and that it was reasonable for our clients not to place tubes during or following surgery and to advance the patient’s diet after surgery because the absence of tubing and advancement of the diet can promote gastric and intestinal motility and reduce complications. Further, we were able to convince the jury that the patient’s post-operative course and death occurred despite appropriate care by our clients and likely still would have occurred if a different treatment course had been selected for the patient.
After a seven-day trial, a Jackson County, Missouri jury returned a verdict in favor of our clients in this case in which the plaintiffs’ final pretrial demand was $1.95 million.