The 31-year-old male plaintiff was admitted to the hospital complaining of severe abdominal pain and jaundice. The preliminary diagnosis was hepatitis.
Radiologic testing revealed the possibility of an occlusion in the hepatic vein which evacuates blood from the liver. This condition, known as Budd-Chiari Syndrome, is associated with a hypercoagulable state. The patient was not treated with Heparin, and was treated conservatively. The patient developed a clot in his right leg, followed by clots in other areas of his body.
Ultimately, the patient suffered amputation of both legs above the knee, in addition to a liver transplant. The defense asserted that Heparin could not be used until a diagnosis of Budd-Chiari Syndrome was confirmed, because treatment with Heparin involved considerable risk for a liver disease patient.
Plaintiff sought $22 million. The jury returned a defense verdict.