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This is a medical negligence case in which, the plaintiff, a forty-nine year old man and his wife, sought damages for the harm they suffered from the plaintiff’s undiagnosed bowel perforation following a routine laparoscopic gallbladder removal and umbilical hernia repair. Because the plaintiff’s bowel perforation was not diagnosed for two days, intestinal contents seeped into his abdomen during that time, causing a massive infection and numerous near fatal complications.
As a result of the damage caused by the infection, the plaintiff underwent 12 additional invasive abdominal procedures over the next two years, and has incurred more than a million dollars in medical bills.
The plaintiffs brought claims against the defendant surgeon who performed the laparoscopic gallbladder removal, and against a second defendant surgeon, who was covering for the first defendant surgeon over the weekend and ultimately diagnosed the perforation.
The plaintiffs' position was that the defendant surgeon who performed the gallbladder removal and caused the perforation failed to order the appropriate tests to rule out a bowel perforation despite having it in her list of possible conditions causing the plaintiff’s abnormal post-operative condition and failure to improve. The plaintiffs also claim that the second defendant surgeon, covering for the weekend, failed to order tests to rule out fatal conditions and get the plaintiff to the operating room in a timely manner. The plaintiffs claimed that had the defendants ordered the appropriate tests, the bowel perforation would have been identified and would have been able to be repaired, thereby preventing many if not most of the near fatal complications and other surgeries the plaintiff underwent. The plaintiffs sought damages for all of the injuries, disfigurement and disabilities the plaintiff suffered since his gallbladder surgery. The plaintiff’s wife sought damages for a loss of consortium.
The defendants denied the plaintiffs' claims. The first surgeon’s position was that all of the medical care she provided to the plaintiff was reasonable and, to the extent that an enterotomy was discovered during the exploratory surgery, it is part of the recognized risk of all laparoscopic procedures, it can happen in the absence of negligence and the plaintiff was informed of the risk before the procedure. The other defendant surgeon’s position was that all of the medical care he provided was reasonable and by the time he took over the plaintiff’s care at 10:30 am on post-op day two, the damage from the perforation was already done so nothing would have changed the plaintiff’s outcome.
The plaintiff has suffered and continues to suffer from permanent injuries and physical disfigurement, extreme pain, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. He has incurred and continues to incur significant medical, surgical and therapeutic expenses and he has lost wages and earning capacity.
Specials (if any):
Medical Expenses: $ 1,133,943.44
Estimated Future Life Care Needs: $ 11,010.00
Estimated Future Medical Expenses: $ 629,049.00
Loss of Past Earnings: $ 139,783.00
Total Economic Losses: $ 1,913,785.44
This case settled during jury trial after five days of testimony.
Plaintiff’s Experts (if any): Confidential
Defense Experts (if any): Confidential
Plaintiff=s Counsel (please include name and firm):
Mark A. Abramson, Esquire
Eva H. Bleich, Esquire
Holly B. Haines, Esquire
Abramson, Brown & Dugan
1819 Elm Street
Manchester, NH 03104
Defense Counsel (please include name and firm): Anonymous
Insurance Carrier (if relevant): Anonymous
Date of Injury: 2009
Date of Verdict or Settlement: 2013