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$2.5 Million Verdict Against Local Surgeon for Surgical Malpractice

In possibly the largest malpractice verdict ever in Butler County, Ohio, the firm won a trial against a local surgeon who pierced both the atrium and the pericardial sac (the tough sac that surrounds the heart) during a procedure, causing the patient to bleed to death on the operating table. The doctor pierced the heart with either the dilator or the guide wire; there was considerable disagreement during the trial which instrument caused the damage. It was the firm’s position that piercing the atrium and the pericardial sac was impossible if the doctor had been paying attention, and thus, was malpractice. The defense countered that the puncturing of the heart was a known complication, but the evidence developed during the case demonstrated that there had never been a reported incident like the complication created by the defendant doctor. The firm used a sophisticated animation to demonstrate to the jury how the doctor went off course during the procedure and inflicted the fatal wounds. The patient, a retired psychology professor was unmarried, but was survived by his three adult children. After a six day trial, the Butler County jury found the doctor liable for malpractice and awarded the family $2.5 million.

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