July 12, 2018
David S. Strite and Chad J. Bradford obtained a defense verdict in favor of a pediatrician and the group practice in Marion Superior Court (Indianapolis, Indiana) on July 12, 2018. The medical review panel had found unanimously against the defendants.
The longtime patient of the defendant pediatrics practice telephoned the office regarding a suspected pregnancy. She was provided with a same-day appointment to confirm that pregnancy and to discuss treatment options. The defense maintained that the patient was appropriately evaluated for a confirmed pregnancy and given appropriate instructions to seek further care from an OB/Gyn, to present to the emergency room with any issues, and to consult with her social support before making any decisions regarding the pregnancy.
The plaintiff alleged that an inadequate examination was done and that there was evidence of sepsis and hemodynamic instability that were missed by the pediatrician and the office staff. The patient was found at home the following morning in extremis and died at the hospital from complications of a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. The plaintiff alleged further that a proper evaluation in the office would have led to an earlier diagnosis and life-saving interventions.
The defense introduced testimony from all three medical review panelists each of whom, based upon further discussion of the care with defense counsel, testified at trial in support of the defense, despite the panel opinion. The defendants also called in support of their case both a professor of pediatrics as well as a board- certified OB/Gyn. All of these experts testified that the patient exhibited no signs or symptoms suggestive of an ectopic pregnancy, that the defendants complied with the standard of care and that the defendants’ care was not a factor in the patient’s death.
The trial was conducted over four days, after which time a unanimous verdict was returned in favor of the defendants.