Senior Trial Partner Jeff Lawton won a unanimous defense verdict in New York County involving the timing of a repair procedure for an abdominal perforation. Plaintiff’s decedent was 66 years of age and previously had undergone a Whipple Procedure at a different institution. She presented to the Emergency Room and a flat plate X-ray revealed the presence of “free air”. Plaintiff’s expert claimed the Hospital was too slow in recognizing the perforation and should have done surgery an hour or two from the discovery of “free air”. The defense countered that the plaintiff’s decedent needed a CT scan to map out the corrective surgery, particularly as the prior Whipple procedure had altered the abdominal anatomy.
The defense experts explained the plaintiff needed fluid resuscitation in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit, otherwise the plaintiff would have expired on the surgical operating room table. Additionally, we were able to show that the plaintiff’s decedent did not die due to the timing of the surgery, rather, she was severally immunocompromised as she was on Chemotherapy.