On March 7, 2017, a New York medical malpractice jury returned its verdict in favor of a 57-year-old woman in the amount of $2.5 million ($1.5 million for past pain and suffering and an additional $1 million for future pain and suffering) against the defendant gastroenterologist for the intestinal perforation she suffered during an EDG that the plaintiff alleged was due to the defendant’s medical negligence. The New York medical malpractice jury deliberated for only 45 minutes following a two-week trial before returning its verdict.
The plaintiff was experiencing bouts of abdominal pain in 2005 for which the defendant gastroenterologist recommended an EDG (esophagogastroduodenoscopy), followed by a colonoscopy, to diagnose the cause of her pain. The defendant performed the EDG on the plaintiff on June 29, 2015 that took only three minutes and fifteen seconds during which the defendant also took eight biopsy samples, which the plaintiff alleged in her New York medical malpractice lawsuit supported her contention that the defendant performed the EDG in a hurried and careless manner.
The plaintiff alleged that the defendant’s negligent performance of her EDG resulted in either the endoscope or the biopsy forceps entering into and perforating the wall of a diverticulum, thereby perforating the plaintiff’s duodenum (the defense argued that the normal passage of air employed during an endoscopy caused the plaintiff’s diverticulum to spontaneously blow out and cause the perforation, for which the defendant would not be responsible).
When the plaintiff woke up in the recovery room after the EDG procedure, she had nausea, vomited, and was in excruciating pain that the defendant allegedly told her were normal following an EDG. Ninety minutes after arriving home, the plaintiff was transported to a hospital emergency room where radiology studies determined that she had suffered an intestinal perforation. When conservative treatment failed to successfully treat her injury and she showed signs of sepsis, the plaintiff had emergency surgery during which the perforated diverticulum was resected, her duodenum was closed, and she had a jejunostomy, leaving a permanent seven-and-a-half-inch vertical scar on her abdomen.
The plaintiff was required to have a feeding tube, a urinary catheter, a nasogastric tube, and an IV morphine drip during her nine-day hospitalization. Adhesions and intra-abdominal scarring as a result of her emergency laparotomy have left her at increased risk of suffering bowel obstructions in the future. The plaintiff never had the recommended colonoscopy because she is now deathly fearful of undergoing such procedures.
If you or a loved one may be the victim of medical negligence during an EDG or colonoscopy, and/or the negligent failure to timely diagnose a perforation of the intestine during an EDG or colonoscopy, in New York or in another U.S. state, you should promptly consult with a New York medical malpractice attorney, or a medical malpractice attorney in your state, who may investigate your medical negligence claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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