January 5, 2001

A complex triple bypass was performed by a Louisville surgeon, but a large sponge was mistakenly left inside the man’s chest.  One month after a procedure to remove the sponge, the patient suffered a heart attack.  The Plaintiff alleged the doctor’s caused undue suffering and shortness of breath, and ultimately led to the heart attack.  The defense argued that (1) the sponge count was the sole responsibility of the nurses and (2) it was the patient’s deteriorating coronary condition, not the forgotten sponge that led to the heart attack.  The Jefferson County jury found in favor of the physician, awarding none of the asked-for $1,665,654.

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