First Half 2012 Trial Result

Specialty: Gastroenterology
Allegation: A 47-year-old female developed abdominal pain and, after failed attempts of treatment by her primary care provider, presented to the hospital. Ultrasounds demonstrated gallstones and cholelithiasis. It was determined that before surgery an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatogram (ERCP) would be performed. The ERCP was performed without apparent complication. A large quantity of sludge and one small stone was removed, but a 12-mm gallstone could not be removed. A biliary stent was placed with good drainage. The next day, the patient complained of pain and it was determined that the biliary stent was not draining and pancreatitis had developed, which is a known risk of this procedure. Imaging suggested a duodenal perforation. When the patient continued to deteriorate, she was transferred to a different facility, where she underwent surgery for retroperitoneal debridement. Duodenal perforation was suspected but not seen at that time. The patient had a prolonged and difficult recovery and endured multiple hospitalizations. At trial, the plaintiff alleged improper performance of the endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatogram resulting in the suspected duodenal perforation, and a failure to recognize the perforation. The patient claimed pancreatitis, medical expenses, wage loss, and general damages associated with her pain and suffering, past and future. One medical provider was dismissed prior to trial and one medical provider settled prior to trial. Under the current case law, evidence of prior compensation was submitted as evidence to the jury.
Plaintiff Attorney: Anthony Russo, Russo & Graham, Seattle, WA
Plaintiff Experts: Irvin Modlin, MD, General Surgery, New Haven, CT; David Fraser, MD, General Surgery, Petaluma, CA; Randall Patton, MD, Radiology, Olympia, WA
Defense Attorneys: Michael Myers, The Law Office of Michael Myers, Spokane, WA; Amy Magnano, Bennett Bigelow & Leedom, Seattle, WA
Defense Experts: David Carr-Locke, MD, Gastroenterology, Boston, MA; Brian Fennerty, MD, Gastroenterology, Portland, OR; Steven Beyersdorf, MD, General Surgery, Spokane, WA; Timothy Chestnut, MD, Pulmonary Diseases, Spokane, WA
Result: Defense verdict, King County Superior Court, Judge Needy
Cost to Defend: $696,213

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