Wicker Smith’s Richards Ford and Patrick Mixson obtain defense verdict in medical malpractice trial

POSTED MAY 1, 2023

Wicker Smith Orlando shareholders Richards Ford and Patrick Mixson recently obtained a defense verdict following an eight-day medical malpractice trial in Hernando County, Florida.
They represented the hospital in a case involving the alleged failure to diagnose a bowel perforation following a laparoscopic gynecological surgery performed on the day before the first of three straight days of presentation to the ER. Plaintiff claimed that the co-defendant surgeon negligently perforated her bowel during the surgery and failed to recognize it, and that the hospital negligently failed to appreciate the signs and symptoms of a perforation.
The crux of the case involved a 5 mm puncture in the plaintiff’s bowel. Plaintiff alleged that the puncture was the result of the co-defendant surgeon’s negligent perforation of the small bowel by a 5 mm trocar utilized during the surgery, while the defense maintained that the perforation resulted from irritation of the intestinal wall caused by surgical mesh placed in a previous, unrelated surgery.
Plaintiff was admitted to the hospital ICU with sepsis after her third consecutive day visiting the ER. Plaintiff ultimately underwent a bowel resection procedure and had numerous subsequent complications due to leaking from the anastomosis from the bowel resection site, as well as a GI transplantation surgery. She claimed that she required skilled nursing in a nursing home as a result of the incident and had a $3.3 million Medicaid lien.
Plaintiff asked for $39 million in the closing argument. The jury returned a complete defense verdict.

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