On September 2, 2016, a Georgia Medical Malpractice jury returned its verdict in favor of the defendants, finding that the Georgia medical malpractice plaintiff had failed to prove that the defendant surgeon and the defendant anesthesiologist had breached the standard of care in treating the plaintiff’s husband, who died less than two weeks after surgery.
The plaintiff’s 41-year-old husband had abdominal pain on December 23, 2011 for which he went to the local hospital’s emergency room. His initial diagnosis was gastroenteritis but, as a result of a CT scan on December 25, 2011, it was discovered that the man had a small bowel obstruction and surgery was recommended.
The defendant surgeon consulted with the defendant anesthesiologist and it was decided that the man would be sedated after which a tube would be inserted through his nose and into his stomach in order to remove the contents of his stomach so that surgery could be performed. The man vomited before the surgery started and he vomited a second time while he was being sedated, which resulted in vomit entering his lungs. After the surgery, the man’s oxygen level fell and he was transferred to the hospital’s intensive care unit. The man died on January 5, 2012.
The defense contended that the defendant anesthesiologist suctioned the man’s lungs before surgery began, after which the surgery was performed.
The wife’s Georgia medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit alleged that the tube placed in her husband’s nose and into his stomach should have been inserted before her husband was sedated, which was a breach of the standard of care. The defense argued that the defendants’ treatment of the man was appropriate and that they did not breach the applicable standard of care. The Georgia medical malpractice jury heard the conflicting testimony from the parties’ experts during the trial.
The Georgia medical malpractice trial began on August 22 and the Georgia medical malpractice jury deliberated for two days before rendering its verdict in favor of both defendants, on September 2, 2016. The plaintiff’s lawyer had asked the Georgia medical malpractice jury to return its verdict in favor on the plaintiff in an amount between $10 million and $15 million for the wrongful death claim, and an additional amount between $5 million and $14 million for pain and suffering.
The plaintiff’s lawyer reportedly stated after the jury’s defense verdict that he had spoken with one of the jurors after the verdict and was told by that juror that the jury had a difficult time deciding whether the man would have died anyway, supposedly splitting six-to-six on the jury’s first vote during deliberations. The defense’s maximum settlement offer before trial reportedly was $50,000, and the plaintiff’s lowest settlement demand before trial was reportedly $2 million.
If you or a family member suffered harm as a result of possible medical negligence in Georgia or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a Georgia medical malpractice lawyer or a medical malpractice lawyer in your state who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you or your family member in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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