December 13, 2019
Gerry Toner and Scott Burroughs successfully defended a Louisville-based emergency medicine physician charged with the failure to identify and report the finding of a surgical sponge in a patient. The surgical sponge was left behind during a procedure that occurred approximately four years prior to this emergency medicine physician’s involvement in the care of the Plaintiff. The Plaintiff alleged negligence not only in the original retention of the sponge, but also that the negligence of various subsequent medical providers contributed to a delay in the removal of the sponge. Plaintiff also alleged this led to increased complications, protracted recovery time and eventually to the loss of the patient’s left leg below the knee. Toner and Burroughs argued that the emergency medicine physician did not breach the standard of care in his handling of the results of the imaging study showing the surgical sponge and that notwithstanding, his involvement was not a substantial factor in causing the injuries alleged by Plaintiff. The jury returned a verdict awarding the Plaintiff a total of $10,500,000.00 (including $1,000,000.00 in punitive damages). However, the jury agreed with Toner and Burroughs and rendered a verdict exonerating the emergency medicine physician of negligence. The emergency medicine physician represented by Toner and Burroughs was the only defendant on the apportionment instruction who was levied no liability.