Donohue Brown’s John McGarry successfully defended a surgeon accused of professional negligence in not performing surgery on a man with acute, necrotizing, infected pancreatitis.
The plaintiff, 57, went to a medical center in the Chicago suburbs where CT scans revealed his pancreas was inflamed, necrotic, and later infected. The patient had multi-system organ failure. The defendant surgeon ordered percutaneous drainage of the abscess rather than surgery, and the patient stabilized, only to die a week later.
The plaintiff’s two experts from Harvard Medical School claimed the surgeon deviated from the standard of care by not performing a pancreatic necrosectomy when the patient failed to improve clinically.
The defense experts testified the risks of surgery outweighed the benefits, given the greater than 80% mortality risk of surgery and the safer alternative of drainage.
The plaintiff requested $2.5 to $3.5 million for the wife and sons’ loss of society. The Lake County jury returned a verdict for the defense.