Lawyers at DBMS successfully litigate a wide variety of civil cases and argue appeals in some of the most challenging jurisdictions in the country.

Medical Malpractice

DBMS Obtains Defense Verdict in Cook County

March 21, 2023



Defense Verdict


Mark Burden and David Handley of DBMS successfully defended a Chicago area surgeon at trial in Cook County against allegations that the surgeon negligently performed hernia surgery by lacerating the patient’s aorta. The plaintiff underwent an attempted laparoscopic hernia repair surgery on August 10, 2012. During the surgeon’s attempt to insert the trocar into the abdominal cavity, the surgeon inadvertently punctured the aorta. The patient lost more than half of his blood volume but was successfully resuscitated after the surgeon converted to an open procedure and was able to control the bleeding. The plaintiff was discharged from the hospital six days later but developed two recurrent hernias, requiring two subsequent surgeries.  The plaintiff also recently developed another hernia, and claimed through his expert that he will need two additional surgeries and will continue to suffer from disability associated with a depleted abdominal wall and permanent daily chronic pain.

The plaintiff claimed that the defendant surgeon (1) chose the wrong entry site for the first trocar and (2) should have known the trocar was in way to deep and posterior before he got to the aorta.  The surgeon testified that he did not obtain the usual landmarks as he advanced the trocar due to the plaintiff’s unique anatomy. Because he did not visualize the usual landmarks, he continued advancing the trocar. The defense expert testified that the insertion site was reasonable and that injury to the aorta is a recognized complication during insertion of the first trocar.

After plaintiff requested $1.6 million in damages, the jury returned a verdict for the defense.