May 10, 2012

Clay Edwards and Katherine Kerns Vesely successfully defended an interventional cardiologist in Columbus, Indiana.  Plaintiff alleged that the cardiologist negligently performed a heart catheterization and stenting procedure and caused an intravascular ultrasound catheter to become lodged in the plaintiff’s coronary artery.  All efforts to dislodge the catheter were unsuccessful, so the patient underwent coronary artery bypass graft surgery.  During the bypass surgery, the surgeon was also unsuccessful in his attempts to dislodge the catheter and, instead, amputated the catheter at its tip and bypassed around the affected artery.  Plaintiff alleged that the retained catheter tip caused him pain and suffering, emotional distress, and caused him to incur medical expenses to address ongoing medical problems. Edwards and Vesely defended the case by submitting medical proof that the cardiologist met the standard of care in performing the heart catheterization and stent procedures and simply encountered a known and recognized, though rare, complication.  The proof also demonstrated that many of plaintiff’s injuries resulted from his numerous other medical conditions and his failure to follow his physicians’ instructions after the heart procedures.  Further medical proof was submitted supporting the fact that the cardiologist took reasonable and appropriate steps to protect the patient against the recognized and known complication of catheter entrapment during a procedure.  Defense experts included an interventional cardiologist from Evansville, Indiana and an interventional cardiologist/panel member from Fort Wayne, Indiana.  The jury agreed with the Defendant and returned a unanimous defense verdict.

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