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Wrongful Death from Heart Laceration

$260,000 – Wrongful Death; Medical Malpractice/Negligence

Facts

A surgeon lacerated the heart of this 55-year-old with a staple during hernia surgery.

At the time of his death, decedent was 55 years of age. On November 16th, he went to the ER of a private hospital with complaints of abdominal pain and nausea, and was eventually diagnosed with incarcerated bowel obstruction and diaphragmatic (Morgagni) hernia. Later that day, he was transferred to defendant’s hospital for further care and treatment. Decedent underwent a laparoscopic repair of the hernia the following day at defendant’s hospital. Approximately 90 minutes post-op he began bleeding internally and was taken back to the operating room where a laceration of the right ventricle was discovered. The surgeon had used too large of a staple to attach the mesh piece.

The surgeon was not a cardiovascular surgeon and there was no cardiovascular surgeon on staff at defendant’s hospital. The patient was transferred by ambulance to another facility with an open chest for heart surgery. Unfortunately, he never regained consciousness and died on November 18th.

Allegations/Contentions

Plaintiff’s 25-year-old son brought an action for wrongful death of his father, alleging that not only did the operating surgeon commit malpractice, but that the facility, by reason of its inability to properly care for his father once the complication had occurred, was negligent in undertaking the procedure without adequate staffing.

Injuries/Damages

Wrongful death of an otherwise healthy 55-year-old male.

Special Notes

Plaintiff’s initial demand was for $250,000 plus funeral and related expenses in the amount of $1,604, made in a Statutory Offer to Compromise (settle) for $251,604. The case resolved for $260,000 before expert depositions were taken.


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