CLAY COUNTY, MISSOURI. DEFENSE VERDICT.
The plaintiff, a female in her mid-30’s, suffered from Crohn’s disease, an autoimmune disease of the digestive tract. The defendant gastroenterologist diagnosed the disease in August 2006 and successfully managed the plaintiff’s symptoms up to August 2009, at which time he found that she had a stricture of her sigmoid colon. Due to the stricture and progression of disease, he escalated treatment in September 2009 but did not place the plaintiff on Remicade, an immunosuppressive biologic drug, as the plaintiff expressed concerns about its side effects. The physician continued to manage the plaintiff’s Crohn’s disease until June 2010 when she was found to have a bowel perforation and abscesses. The plaintiff underwent a bowel resection surgery and required a colostomy bag until February 2011. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendant should have initiated the Remicade process starting in September 2009 and on every visit up to May 25, 2010. The plaintiff claimed past medical expenses and lost wages totaling $245,000 and non-economic damages of $1,055,000. The defendants denied the allegations, asserting that the plaintiff chose to not go on Remicade when recommended in September 2009 and that there were medical reasons for holding off on initiating the drug process on the other occasions that the defendant saw the plaintiff. The total demand to the jury was $1,500,000. After five days of trial, the jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of the defendants.