Defense Verdict In Connecticut
On behalf of a cardiologist, Bruce F. Gilpatrick obtained a defense verdict in New Haven, Connecticut Superior Court in a medical malpractice case.
Plaintiff, a woman in her sixties, was treated by HPM&B’s client for persistent atrial fibrillation over the course of ten years. A transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) taken prior to our client’s involvement in her care ruled out a congenital cause such as an atrial septal defect. Unknown at the time was the fact that the TEE had been misinterpreted and that the plaintiff actually an atrial septal defect. The central issue at trial was whether HPM&B’s client should have reordered a TEE. Not knowing the cause of the atrial fibrillation led the defendant to prescribe Coumadin, a blood thinner, to reduce clot formation. The plaintiff became confused when her medication was changed to a generic which led her to take more Coumadin than prescribed, causing an intracranial bleed. This led to the need for surgery and further testing by a different physician, who ultimately diagnosed an atrial septal defect. The defect was surgically repaired and the patient’s atrial fibrillation was cured and the patient was able to stop taking all medications prescribed by the defendant. Plaintiff nevertheless claimed an inability to work, memory loss and tremors.
After a bench trial, the Court found for HPM&B’s client, rejecting plaintiff’s expert’s contention that the defendant should have re-ordered a TEE. Instead, the Court accepted our expert’s testimony that the physician was completely within the standard of care to rely on the findings of the existing TEE ruling out any congenital defects.