Hip Surgery Wrongful Death Settlement: $2.5 Million

2022 Medical Malpractice Trial Report

Excessive bleeding during hip replacement surgery leads to death. Case settles during jury selection.

On 11/28/13, the decedent dislocated his artificial hip while in the shower. He went to the emergency room and was seen by the defendant orthopedic surgeon. The defendant attempted to place the hip back in the socket in the ED but was unsuccessful. The decedent was admitted to the hospital and ultimately it was decided that he needed a complete hip replacement surgery.

On 11/30/13 the decedent was brought to the OR for the surgery. It was anticipated that the surgery would last 3-4 hours and the defendant estimated blood loss would be between 500-1000 cc’s. The surgery actually lasted more than 9 hours. It began at 11:00 AM and did not ultimately finish until close to 9:00 PM.

The defendant ran into many complications during the surgery including fracturing the decedent’s femur. During the surgery the decedent ended up losing 4000 cc’s of blood. As he was losing blood his blood pressure started to drop. The defendant anesthesiologist was in charge of managing his blood loss and maintaining his blood pressure. During the last several hours of the surgery the decedent had a dangerously low blood pressure due to the amount of blood he had lost.

The defendant orthopedic surgeon stated during the course of discovery that he was unaware of the low blood pressures and that the defendant anesthesiologist should have alerted him and the surgery should have been stopped. The defendant anesthesiologist stated that he made the defendant aware and the defendant orthopedic surgeon continued on with the surgery anyway.

At the end of the surgery the decedent could not be woken up. Testing was done immediately and it revealed he suffered a brain injury from lack of oxygen during the surgery. A decision was made to remove him off life support and he died the following day on 12/1/13.

The plaintiff retained experts who were expected to testify that the surgery should have been stopped when it was realized that decedent was losing a lot of blood and his blood pressure was dangerously low. It was their opinion that both defendants were responsible for the decedent in the OR and they both failed to stop the surgery.

The defendants were each prepared to have expert testimony stating any lack of oxygen occurred at the end of the surgery and there was nothing either could have done to prevent the outcome.

The case settled for $2,500,000 during jury selection.

Lubin & Meyer attorney Robert M. Higgins represented the plaintiff in this medical malpractice lawsuit.

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