Rogers v. Defendant Vascular Surgeon

  • Circuit Court of Cook County (Judge James Flannery)12/15/2008
    Counsel: Sherri M. Arrigo
    Client: Defendant Vascular Surgeon
    Outcome: Defense Verdict

Synopsis:

DBMS represented a vascular surgeon who performed abdominal aortic aneurysm repair surgery on plaintiff's decedent, a 72-year old widow with two adult children.

Several hours after surgery, the patient was taken back to the operating room for suspected post-operative hemorrhage . Upon opening the chest, the surgeon found massive bleeding coming from two holes in the graft he had used to repair the aneurysm during the first surgery. The surgeon repaired the holes in the graft but the patient developed coagulopathy and died about 24 hours later from multiple organ system failure secondary to hemorrhagic shock.

Plaintiff alleged the defendant negligently failed to timely recognize and repair defects to the graft in the first surgery and failed to timely diagnose and treat post-operative bleeding prior to the development of refractive coagulopathy that led to death.

The defense argued that there was no bleeding at the end of the first surgery, that the defects in the graft occurred post-operatively as a result of a calcium shard eroding through the graft, and that the resulting hemorrhage was diagnosed and treated in a timely manner within the standard of care.

Plaintiff asked for $2.3 million in damages. After deliberating for 1 hour and 10 minutes, inclusive of lunch, the jury returned a not guilty verdict in favor of the defendant surgeon.