Summary Judgment Dismissal

HPM&B recently won a summary judgment motion on behalf of a major teaching Hospital in New York City and an attending urological surgeon. This case was venued in Supreme Court, Bronx County and involved a penile implant repair surgery. During the procedure, our client encountered dense adhesions and made an intraoperative judgment decision to leave the old device’s reservoir in place because he felt that the risks of attempting removal outweighed any potential benefit to the patient. Post-operatively, the reservoir migrated to the bowel causing pain and other symptoms. Plaintiff ultimately required surgical resection of the reservoir by a colorectal surgeon. Plaintiff also claimed that he developed certain urological symptoms as a result of the alleged surgical malpractice. HPM&B moved for summary judgment with the support of a renowned urological surgery expert who explained in detail why the surgery was performed in accordance with the standard of care and that the surgeon exercised good surgical judgment by electing to leave the reservoir in place. The risk of removing the reservoir was significantly high because the reservoir was encased in adhesions, and there was only a small risk that leaving it in place would cause any symptoms. Moreover, the surgeon documented pre-operatively that the informed consent discussion with the patient included a conversation about this precise potential intraoperative issue, and the patient signed the informed consent form. Defendants’ expert also established through the credible evidence that plaintiff’s complaints of ongoing urological issues were pre-existing and unrelated to the reservoir and the alleged malpractice. Plaintiff was ultimately unable to secure an expert witness to support the claim, and therefore, the court dismissed the case in its entirety.