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October 2017: Defense Verdict

October 4, 2017

Senior Trial Partner Anthony M. Sola, assisted by Partner Nancy J. Block and Associate Emma B. Glazer, obtained a defense verdict after a 3-week trial in Supreme Court, Queens County before Justice Kevin J. Kerrigan. The case involved a wrongful death claim for a then 43-year-old married, working mother of 3 teenage children. The patient, who had a history of having had a prior pulmonary embolism (PE) for which she was on life-long anticoagulation therapy with Coumadin, was morbidly obese and presented to our clients, a major NYC Hospital and a Bariatric Surgeon, for a sleeve gastrectomy (removal of a portion of her stomach) to help her lose weight. Since a patient cannot be anticoagulated during surgery, in situations such as this the protocol is to have the patient weaned off the long-acting Coumadin starting a week before surgery, and in place of that employing a short-acting anticoagulation drug (Lovenox). For the day of the operation, the short acting Lovenox is also stopped, and then about a day later the Lovenox is restarted together with the Coumadin for about a week while the Coumadin gets back to therapeutic levels. Unfortunately, the patient developed a PE about a week post-surgery and had documented about 35 minutes of conscious pain and suffering before she succumbed. The plaintiff’s claims centered on the adequacy of the discharge instructions and post-discharge prescriptions of anticoagulants. The jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of both defendants.

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