Firm Wins $1,300,000 for Botched Bypass Surgery
A 59 year old man was diagnosed with blockage of three coronary arteries and scheduled for routine bypass surgery with a cardiac surgeon at Defendant’s Hospital. The patient died during the surgery and the operative report stated that he suffered aortic dissection and rupture which is a known potential complication of bypass surgery. Fortunately, a family member consulted with P&K and a private autopsy was arranged. The autopsy showed no evidence of aortic dissection or rupture and obvious evidence of a surgical laceration or tear to the aorta. P&K’s medical experts testified that the standard of care for coronary artery bypass surgery did not involve any incisions on or near the aorta and that the autopsy report and photographs clearly showed the Defendant cardiac surgeon had caused a laceration or tear to the aorta with some surgical instrument or clamp, and that but for this injury the decedent would probably have survived.
The patient was survived by his 53 year old wife and 19 year old daughter and was earning approximately $30,000 per year as an export agent. P&K recovered the Defendant cardiac surgeon’s malpractice policy limits. The Defendant hospital initially denied that the cardiac surgeon was an apparent agent of the hospital, but eventually chose to take advantage of the $250,000 cap (per survivor) on pain and suffering damages by agreeing not to contest liability and submitting to voluntary binding arbitration on damages before the lawsuit was filed. The case was settled for a combined total of $1,300,000 shortly before arbitration.