Clay County, Missouri. Defense Verdict
The plaintiff was a 75 year old female with a history of incarcerated hiatal hernia that had previously been diagnosed by our clients in 2004. The plaintiff was previously told by our clients she should have surgery for this condition, because the entirety of her stomach had herniated into her chest above the diaphragm, but she refused. The patient was admitted to the hospital in the fall of 2009 and seen by our clients who recommended surgery. Before the surgery was scheduled, the patient’s condition deteriorated drastically and emergency surgery was scheduled. The plaintiff lost all of her stomach and esophagus, and is now on a feeding machine and has a spit fistula. The plaintiff alleged that the defendants should have decompressed her stomach with an NG tube which allegedly would have prevented the catastrophe. At trial the plaintiff’s claim for damages included past and future medical expenses and pain and suffering, for a total in excess of 5 million dollars. After 9 days of trial, the jury returned a defense verdict after approximately 2 hours of deliberation.