Defense Verdict on Behalf of Private Surgical Group

Robert B. Gibson, assisted by associate Brendan J. Alt, successfully defended two vascular surgeons and their private surgical group in a malpractice case in which the plaintiff alleged that following the placement of an arteriovenous fistula in the left arm, a post-operative infection was not diagnosed and treated in a timely manner. The plaintiff contended that if he had received antibiotics at a particular post-operative office visit, the infection would have been prevented and he would have avoided a surgical debridement, extended hospitalization, permanent nerve damage, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, pain and suffering, and lost earnings. The plaintiff’s wife also had a claim for loss of services.

Early in the trial, a discontinuance was obtained for one of the surgeons. Mr. Gibson introduced testimony from a vascular surgery expert who opined that the plaintiff did not have an infection at the post-operative visit in question based on his symptoms and the condition of the wound, and that the infection developed rapidly in the days after this visit. Furthermore, the defense expert concluded that even had the surgeon prescribed antibiotics, they would have only treated one type of bacteria and plaintiff’s wound cultures showed that he had at least two types of bacteria. Lastly, the expert explained that the plaintiff’s nerve damage was due to preexisting diabetic neuropathy combined with a steal syndrome, which caused ischemic monomelic neuropathy. The defense was able to establish that there was no evidence of reflex sympathetic dystrophy.

Plaintiffs’ counsel requested over $1 million in damages in summation. On June 20, 2014, the jury rendered a unanimous defense verdict in less than thirty minutes.