Plaintiff claimed that the defendant failed to immediately place her on pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy post-operatively, which allegedly led to malabsorption of nutrients and the development of a fatty liver.
She claimed that this fatty liver, in turn, led to her inability to withstand the full course and dose of chemotherapy, which allegedly allowed her cancer to metastasize.
The plaintiff was diagnosed with ampullary cancer in May 1999, and in June 1999, the surgeon performed an extensive surgery known as a Whipple procedure to remove the tumor. The plaintiff then refused to follow the recommended follow-up treatment of combined radiation and chemotherapy, electing instead to undergo only a reduced dose of chemotherapy. Further, she attended only one follow-up appointment with the surgeon.
In directing the verdict in favor of the defendants, the court ruled that the plaintiff's expert failed to establish any evidence that the alleged deviations proximately caused the plaintiff's injury.