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

Professional Liability

Plaintiff v. Defendant Internal Medicine Physician

06/19/2019
Client:

Defendant Internal Medicine Physician

Outcome:

Verdict for the Defense

Synopsis:

DBMS successfully defended an internal medicine physician in a case involving a claim of medical malpractice for an extravasation injury following lifesaving medical treatment.

In 2014, the plaintiff, a 71-year-old male, was admitted to a hospital for septic shock, acute renal failure, and a urinary tract infection. While the plaintiff was in the emergency department, he went into cardiac arrest and a right femoral central line was placed. Because of the plaintiff’s hypotension and sepsis, vasopressors were initiated in the emergency department. The plaintiff was then admitted to the ICU department for further treatment under the care of the intensivist. The defendant internal medicine physician, who had been plaintiff’s primary care physician for a number of years, was listed as the attending physician and followed plaintiff during the admission. On the morning of the second day in the ICU, the vasopressors were stopped. In the afternoon of the second day of the admission, plaintiff began to exhibit signs of an extravasation injury from the vasopressor medication used to maintain plaintiff’s blood pressure and save his life.

The plaintiff argued that the defendant physician permitted the central line to remain in the groin instead of removing and replacing it in the arm, failed to monitor and/or examine plaintiff’s central line site for signs of extravasation injury, and failed to administer the antidote Regitine for the extravasation injury.

The defense argued that the physician acted within the standard of care, the extravasation injury was timely diagnosed, and an extravasation injury is a rare but known risk of vasopressor medications, which were necessary to save plaintiff’s life. The defense further argued that nothing the defendant physician did or failed to do caused plaintiff’s injury.

The plaintiff asked for $1.35 million. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the defense after deliberating for less than two hours.