$10.7 Million Verdict: Post-Surgical Infection

2019 Medical Malpractice Judgment

Failure to recognize signs of intestinal leak and retained surgical sponge, results in infection, colostomy and additional surgeries.

March 26, 2019 — Essex Superior Court

Summary: Lubin & Meyer PC is pleased to report that attorneys Nick Cappiello and John Carucci have obtained a verdict in the amount of $10.7 million with interest in a medical malpractice trial. The lawsuit claimed the surgeon, affiliated with Lowell General Hospital, was negligent for failure to recognize signs of an intestinal leak and leaving a surgical sponge behind, causing the patient to suffer abdominal infection, colostomy and additional surgeries.

Medical Malpractice Trial Lawyer's Report

By Nicholas Cappiello

After undergoing abdominal surgery with the defendant general surgeon at Lawrence General Hospital, the plaintiff was transferred to the Cardiac Care Unit with signs of an infection, including pain, tremors, abdominal distension, increased heart rate and decreased blood pressure. Over the next three days, the plaintiff’s condition deteriorated such that his family requested transfer to a Boston facility.

Upon arrival at a tertiary care facility, the plaintiff was intubated and brought to the operating room for emergency abdominal surgery. During surgery, the surgeon removed a retained sponge and discovered an anastomotic leak which was causing enteric contents to leak into the plaintiff’s abdomen. The plaintiff was maintained in a medically-induced coma over the next week while he underwent five surgeries to treat the infection in his abdomen and to repair the damage to his intestines. The abdomen was eventually closed on 6th day.

The plaintiff was required to use a colostomy and/or ileostomy for the next eighteen months, and underwent several additional surgeries. The plaintiff’s expert testified that he will need at least one more surgery in the future.

The plaintiffs presented expert testimony at trial that the defendant was negligent for failure to recognize and appreciate signs concerning for an intestinal leak over the three inpatient days at Lawrence General Hospital, and in leaving the surgical sponge behind.

The trial lasted for a five day period. After deliberating for two and a half hours, the jury returned a verdict in the amount of Nine Million Four Hundred Thousand ($9,400,000.00) Dollars, Ten Million Seven Hundred Thousand ($10,700,000.00) Dollars with interest.

Read more about this trial:
Jury awards Methuen man $9.4M in malpractice suit
Case involves post-surgery negligence by North Andover doctor
Lawrence Eagle Tribune, April 9, 2019

Jury awards $9.4M for botched surgery
Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, March 28, 2019


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