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Mike Denning with Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen in Rockford, Illinois,won a defense verdict in a medical malpractice action after a 6 day jury trial. Plaintiff claimed that during an emergency appendectomy, the defendant general surgeon perforated the ileum and then failed to find and repair a hole or injury to the patient’s ileum. The defense agreed that some injury occurred during the procedure (which began with a laparoscopic approach but was converted to an open procedure) but asserted that it was not able to be seen or found and repaired during the surgeon’s examination of the ileum prior to closing.

Approximately 4-5 days after surgery, while still in the hospital, the patient began to show signs of sickness. A CT scan was performed showing free air and an exploratory laparotomy was performed by a subsequent surgeon. Massive amounts of green intestinal contents were found in the abdomen and a 12mm hole was found approximately 18 inches from the site of the appendectomy. 

The surgeon resected the ileum and created an ileostomy and mucus fistula. The patient was septic and remained in the hospital for more than a month on a ventilator and had a difficult recovery. Ultimately, the patient’s ileostomy was reversed and he claimed daily, frequent, explosive diarrhea from that time continuing through to the time of trial.

The defense argued that the injury was small or only a partial thickness injury that was not able to be seen at the time of the injury, but weakened and opened in a delayed fashion after the surgery. The defense further argued that Plaintiff suffered from diabetic diarrhea instead of ileal resection diarrhea. Plaintiff sought damages for significant medical bills, lost wages, loss of a normal life related to the frequent diarrhea, disfigurement and pain and suffering. The jury returned a verdict for the defense in 1 hour and 15 minutes.  


Would you like to submit a profile? [Download protocol for submission] Send to Scott Salter at ssalter@starneslaw.com




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