The following summaries are Physicians Insurance cases that have gone to trial and are public record.
ALLEGED LACK OF INFORMED CONSENT/NEGLIGENT SURGERY
SPECIALTY: Gynecological Oncology
ALLEGATION: A 59-year-old female alleged lack of informed consent and improper surgery in the performance of a total robotic hysterectomy,bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, and bilateral lymph node sampling.Ultrasound findings included an enlarged uterus and fibroid. Intraoperatively, it was observed that the uterus was indeed very large, the endometrial cavity small, and a pedunculated posterior fibroid displaced most of the uterus.The fibroid could not be removed vaginally and had to be bivalved to be removed. Pathology demonstrated uterine leiomyosarcoma.The plaintiff alleged failure to discuss the possibility of bivalving and failure to obtain consent for this technique, which she alleged allowed for the recurrence of the uterine leiomyosarcoma and a worsened prognosis.The plaintiff claimed lost wages, past and future medical expenses, and pain and suffering, medical specials, and general damages.
PLAINTIFF ATTORNEY: Robert Christie,Christie Law Group, Seattle, WA
PLAINTIFF EXPERTS: Robert H. Young, MD, Pathology, Boston, MA; Donald Goldstein, MD, Gynecology/Oncology, Boston, MA; Steven Anthony, MD, Medical Oncology, Tyler, TX
DEFENSE ATTORNEYS: Ryan Beaudoin, Witherspoon Kelley, Spokane, WA, and Mark Wagner, Hart Wagner, Portland, OR
DEFENSE EXPERTS: Maurie Markman,MD, Medical Oncology, Philadelphia, PA; Steven Brisbois, MD, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Spokane, WA; Philip DiSaia, MD, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Irvine, CA; William “Buck” Peters III, MD, Obstetrics/Gynecology,Seattle, WA; Steven Hajdu, MD, Pathology, Burbank, CA
RESULT: Defense Verdict. Spokane County Superior Court, Judge Clarke
FAILURE TO DIAGNOSE
SPECIALTY: Emergency Medicine
ALLEGATION: A 19-year-old female alleged failure to diagnose compartment syndrome post anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) repair when seen in the Emergency Department with complaints of left lower extremity pain and swelling.An examination and testing for deep vein thrombosis and infection were performed, and it was determined the patient’s complaints were related to post-operative swelling and poorly controlled pain management.She was instructed to follow up with her surgeon.The patient was seen by her surgeon two days later, who recorded normal pressure tests. However, an MRI demonstrated fluid collection near the two posterior compartments.The patient underwent surgery,and the surgeon stated in his Operative Report that the patient had compartment syndrome.The patient alleged a delay in diagnosis left her with an injury to the distribution of the sciatic nerve, which resulted in further procedures, disability, past and future medical specials, and pain and suffering.The defense contended that the care and treatment of the patient was appropriate and the patient did not have compartment syndrome.
PLAINTIFF ATTORNEY: Bryan Smith, Tamaki Law, Yakima, WA
PLAINTIFF EXPERTS: Michael Smolens, MD, Emergency Medicine, Torrance, CA; David Cossman, MD, Vascular Surgery, Los Angeles,CA; David Musnick, MD, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Bellevue, WA
DEFENSE ATTORNEYS: Chris Anderson and Eric Norman, Fain Anderson VanDerhoef Rosendahl and O’Halloran, Seattle, WA
DEFENSE EXPERTS: Fred Abrahamian, DO, Emergency Medicine, Los Angeles, CA; Jim Krieg, MD, Orthopedics, Philadelphia, PA; Daniel Neuzil, MD, Vascular Surgery, Baltimore, MD; Stuart Rosenblum, MD, Anesthesiology,Portland, OR
RESULT: Defense Verdict. King County Superior Court, Judge Rogers