A Manhattan medical malpractice jury returned its verdict against the defendant colorectal surgeon at the conclusion of trial in mid-November 2018, awarding the surviving family of a stay-at-home mother and wife to a police officer, who died as a result of medical negligence, a total of $13 million.
The New York medical malpractice jury awarded the patient’s husband $4 million and the couple’s three children, ages 17 and 13 (twins), $3 million each. The patient had died after undergoing surgery seven years earlier, in November 2011, for removal of a benign polyp in her colon. The New York medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit was originally filed in 2012.
The family alleged in their New York medical malpractice lawsuit that the defendant colorectal surgeon carelessly burned a portion of the patient’s small bowel during the surgery and that he negligently failed to discover the bowel injury during the surgery. The patient awoke after the surgery complaining of pain that was ten-out-of-ten even while on potent pain medications, which was much greater than would be expected, but the defendant allegedly failed to order a CT scan for four days after the surgery. By the time the CT scan was ordered, completed, and diagnosed the bowel injury, the patient’s infection was so severe that she was septic. The 43-year-old woman died before further surgery could be performed in an effort to save her life.
The woman reportedly told her husband before she died on December 15, 2011, “They hurt me. They hurt me really bad.”
The now 53-year-old husband stated after the New York medical malpractice jury found in his favor and in favor of their children, “You believe in doctors. They’re going to do the right thing … from the minute she got out of surgery she said, ‘I felt something was wrong.'” He reportedly considered the verdict as a sign that his wife was still taking care of them, telling his children, “I take care of you now, but your mother did a better job than I did because she’s still taking care of you.”
The Manhattan medical malpractice jury returned its verdict in less than one day after the medical malpractice trial.
A medical article published in 2014 stated: “Removal of small and diminutive polyps is almost devoid of complications. Cold snare polypectomy seems to be the best approach for these lesions, with biopsy forcep removal reserved only for the tiniest of polyps. Hot snare or hot biopsy forcep removal of these lesions is no longer recommended. Endoscopic mucosal resection and endoscopic submucosal dissection have proven to be effective in the removal of large colorectal lesions, avoiding surgery in the majority of patients, with acceptably low complication rates.”
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