David S. Strite and Chad J. Bradford obtained a defense verdict in favor of an otolaryngologist in Marion Superior Court (Indianapolis, Indiana) on April 26, 2019. A majority of the medical review panel had found against the defendant on both standard of care and causation.
The patient was referred to the defendant physician for evaluation of an enlarging parotid mass and loss of hearing. After evaluation, the surgeon recommended a parotidectomy to remove the enlarging and painful mass. Almost immediately after surgery, the patient developed profound hearing loss on the side of surgery.
The plaintiff alleged that the defendant failed to communicate to the surgical staff the presence of a perforated eardrum in the patient on the side of surgery. The plaintiff further alleged that the defendant physician negligently failed to prevent the staff from using an antiseptic prep agent that was known to be ototoxic. As a result, the plaintiff claims that a chemical prep was allowed to enter the ear and cause permanent damage to the inner ear.
The defense introduced testimony from one of the medical review panel members and a professor of head and neck surgery from a top ranking ENT teaching hospital to support the care of the defendant. The defense successfully refuted the plaintiff’s case including testimony from members of the medical review panel, a retained local ENT surgeon expert, the surgical tech who performed the subject prep prior to surgery and the plaintiff’s treating ENT physician.
The trial was conducted over five days, after which time a unanimous verdict was returned in favor of the defendant.