Plaintiff v. Defendant Cardiothoracic Surgeon

Synopsis:

DBMS successfully defended a cardiothoracic surgeon in a case involving a claim of medical malpractice for an alleged failure to properly perform a single coronary artery bypass graft procedure.

In June 2016, plaintiff, a 48-year-old female, presented to a hospital with complaints of chest pain. She had a prior medical history of a heart attack in November 2013 with a stent placement in the left anterior descending artery and underwent a balloon angioplasty for in-stent re-stenosis in April 2014. During the June 2014 hospitalization, a cardiac catheterization procedure showed 95% re-stenosis of the proximal left anterior descending artery stent. Defendant cardiothoracic surgeon was consulted to perform a single coronary artery bypass graft with the left internal mammary artery to the left anterior descending artery. At the end of August 2014 following the bypass procedure, plaintiff began experiencing chest tightness and arm pain. An invasive angiogram completed on September 11, 2014, revealed that the LAD was 100% occluded. 

The plaintiff argued that the defendant cardiothoracic surgeon negligently performed the bypass procedure and connected the left internal mammary artery to a diagonal branch of the left anterior descending artery instead of to the left anterior descending artery itself. Plaintiff also alleged the defendant cardiothoracic surgeon utilized an improper surgical technique during the procedure that caused the bypass graft to narrow and fail.

The defense argued that the physician acted within the standard of care, utilized a proper surgical technique, and properly placed the bypass graft in the left anterior descending artery and not a diagonal branch. Further, the defense argued that a CT angiogram performed on September 3, 2014, confirmed the left internal mammary artery was properly placed in the left anterior descending artery and not a diagonal artery.  Additionally, the defense argued the bypass graft failed due to the plaintiff’s body’s adverse response to cardiac interventions.

The plaintiff asked for $8 million. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the defense after deliberating for six hours.