Navigating Complications and Preexisting Conditions
Art Young and Jennifer Hoge
At Rissman, experience is critical. We’ve developed highly informed instincts, finely honed skills, and an appetite for ever greater challenges. Those skills were put to the test in a highly nuanced recent medical malpractice case.
In the case at hand, Rissman attorneys Art Young and Jennifer Hoge obtained a defense verdict in a four-day jury trial concerning the plaintiff’s treatment and subsequent complications from a gynecological surgery.
The defendant performed a laparoscopic-assisted vaginal hysterectomy (LAVH) for the plaintiff’s chronic pelvic pain. In the course of surgery, the plaintiff’s ureter was injured. It was widely accepted that the injury was the result of a thermal burn from an instrument used during surgery. But during a post-LAVH procedure to address the injury, the urologist identified what appeared to be a suture around the area. Regardless of the cause, the court determined the technique was appropriate and this was a known complication.
As a result of the injury, the patient eventually had her right kidney removed. There was no dispute of the matters leading up to this procedure, or that the subsequent surgery was related to the original surgery.
The plaintiff alleged that she had continual pain from the numerous surgeries, but the defense suggested that the pain was related to her preexisting history of chronic pain syndrome.
In closing, the plaintiff asked for past medical expenses, but didn’t raise future medical expenses. She also asked for damages related to past and future pain and suffering. The jury returned a defense verdict in under an hour.
We owe thanks to numerous colleagues and partners in support of this outcome, including Judy Day, Nathan Ringer, Collette Pridgen, Duc Nong, Jennifer Wines, Darlene Giarrusso, Paiton Mizelle, Rachael Metallo, Bianca Taraschi, Kendall Griesse, Mikhal Wright, Natalie Robinson, and Kenneth Eubanks.