February 3, 2009
David Strite and Joseph Klausing successfully defended a Columbus, Indiana general surgeon in Bartholomew County Circuit Court. Plaintiff alleged that the surgeon negligently managed the patient’s care following a colonoscopy which resulted in colon cancer and permanent impairment, specifically a colostomy. Plaintiff’s claims were supported by a prominent Minneapolis gastroenterologist and by three members of the local medical community who also were subsequent treating physicians. The trial judge remarked that the case was the most complex matter he had handled during his tenure on the bench.
Strite and Klausing argued that the surgeon’s actions were appropriate under the circumstances and that any pre-malignant polyps or tumors were not seen during the colonoscopy. The failure to appreciate a tumor or polyp is a known and accepted complication of endoscopic studies. The Plaintiff sought over $1.7 million in damages. The jury returned a unanimous defense verdict at 11:30 pm following five days of testimony.