Surgical Error


Settlement Amount: $1,100,000.00
Attorney: David A. Kulwicki

Description of Case: Plaintiff had a longstanding aortic abdominal aneurysm (AAA) that his primary care physician had been watching closely. Because the AAA had been present for a long time, the primary care doctor recommended that the Plaintiff see the Defendant, a cardiothoracic surgeon. The Defendant obtained an imaging study but rashly relied only on the “wet read,” a preliminary review of the imaging study by a radiologist without benefit of comparing the study with earlier studies. Once the radiologist compared the new imaging study with earlier studies, he determined that the Plaintiff’s AAA had not grown, but was stable and smaller than necessary for surgery. The radiologist dutifully set his complete findings out in a detailed radiology report. The Defendant did not review the radiology report. He went ahead with surgery, putting the Plaintiff at unnecessary risk. Following the surgery, the Plaintiff developed clots in his leg. The Defendant was slow to respond and ultimately Plaintiff lost his leg below the knee. The parties settled the claim for policy limits.

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