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Defense Verdict In Surgical Complication/Medical Malpractice Case

December 1, 2021

Lee Weatherly and Kristen Thompson successfully defended a general surgeon and his practice after experiencing a surgical complication during an attempted laparoscopic cholecystectomy on a patient suffering from Mirizzi’s Syndrome, a rare gallbladder disease. During the performance of the surgery, the surgeon encountered an eroded ductal system caused by advanced Mirizzi’s Syndrome. The erosion resulted in distorted anatomy and the erroneous transection of the bile duct. Plaintiff’s expert alleged that the pre-operative diagnosis of Mirizzi’s Syndrome was incorrect and that the transection of the bile duct was due to the surgeon not identifying the critical view of safety before cutting the duct.  Lee and Kristen presented evidence through their surgeon client, four treating physicians, and expert testimony who confirmed the diagnosis of Mirizzi’s Syndrome and the advancement of that disease at the time of surgery. The defense showed that not only did the surgeon comply with the standard of care by identifying the critical view of safety but that the patient’s Mirizzi’s Syndrome had advanced to the point that her ductal system was eroded and the ultimate repair surgery she received was inevitable, regardless of the transection of the bile duct by the surgeon-defendant.  After a five-day trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the surgeon after an hour-long deliberation by finding the surgeon did not breach the standard of care.

For informational purposes only. Past success does not indicate the likelihood of success in future cases.