Jimmy Lee Bailey, a 43-year-old father of four, was admitted to the hospital with a history of extreme weight loss, progressive numbness of the extremities, chronic renal failure requiring dialysis, and congestive heart failure.
Gallbladder surgery was performed, and Mr. Bailey was discovered dead six hours later with a massive abdominal bleed. Plaintiff claimed that the surgery was not indicated, that bleeding times were not corrected before surgery, and that the defendants failed to diagnose primary amyloidosis -- discovered at autopsy -- as the unifying cause of the patient’s problems.
An echocardiogram done the night before surgery placed amyloidosis in the differential diagnosis for the first time.
Defendants contended that amyloidosis was a rare disorder that would have proven terminal in any event, and that it was the cause of the postoperative bleed.
Plaintiff asked the jury for $950,000. The case was settled for $10,000 at the start of the second trial.