Date : Nov 11, 2022
One week, two states, three jury trials . . . and three defense verdicts
Meagher + Geer’s three most recent trials have all resulted in defense verdicts. The last week of October 2022 found four trial lawyers from Meagher + Geer’s Professional Liability – Healthcare group engaged in jury trials in courtrooms in North Dakota and Minnesota. In the first of those cases to go to verdict, Tracy Kolb and Besse McDonald successfully defended a foot and ankle surgeon through a seven-day trial in Bismarck, North Dakota. Plaintiffs sought $4.1 million in damages, alleging the defendant had “botched” a bunion surgery that led to the development of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. The defense, however, established that the patient experienced a known potential surgical complication and that the care provided met the requisite standard. The jury reached its verdict quickly, finding no fault by the surgeon and rejecting Plaintiffs’ case in its entirety.
In the second case, Rodger Hagen secured a defense verdict in a matter involving a 27 year-old male who died in the hospital, following bowel perforation. Plaintiffs alleged that defendant surgeon should have recognized that bowel perforation was imminent and operated preemptively. They asked the jury to award next-of-kin damages between $1.5 million and $3 million. The defense argued that the bowel perforation and the patient’s rapid deterioration and death thereafter could not reasonably have been foreseen and, thus, that the surgeon’s care was appropriate. The jury returned a verdict of no negligence after a seven-day trial and two hours of deliberations.
In the third of those cases to conclude, Nicole Brand secured a defense verdict on behalf of a chiropractor whose treatment was alleged to have caused arterial dissection leading to stroke in a young adult female patient. Plaintiffs asked the jury for a multi-million dollar damage award. In defending her client’s care, Nicole established that the patient had experienced vertebral artery dissections a week or more before undergoing chiropractic treatment and that the arterial dissections and subsequent stroke were not caused by chiropractic treatment. After a three-week trial, the jury returned a verdict finding that the defendant chiropractor was not negligent and rejecting the plaintiffs’ theory of lack of informed consent.