March 19, 2018

Clay Edwards and Katherine Kerns Vesely successfully defended a cardiothoracic surgeon in Fayette Circuit Court in Lexington, Kentucky against allegations of medical malpractice. The plaintiff underwent a cardiac catheterization and suffered a retroperitoneal bleed from a puncture in the femoral artery. The cardiologist began resuscitative measures and ordered a surgery consult. The surgeon spent the next two hours with the patient and ordered a number of additional interventions.

The patient was not an appropriate surgical candidate at that time. The surgeon updated the cardiologist on the patient’s condition and interventions administered and told him to contact him again if needed. The surgeon was not contacted again. When the surgeon later checked on the patient’s condition, the nurse reported that the patient’s condition had changed. The surgeon then took the patient to surgery and repaired the femoral puncture. The plaintiff claimed that a delay in surgery caused her to suffer an anoxic brain injury and severe neurocognitive deficits. Plaintiff sought more than $7 million in damages, including past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, and impairment of earning capacity.

Mr. Edwards and Ms. Vesely defended the physician by establishing that the surgeon acted within the standard of care when providing treatment to the plaintiff and that earlier surgery was not indicated and could not have been performed safely. The defendant’s care was supported by well-qualified expert testimony and, after an eight-day trial, the jury returned a defense verdict in favor of the surgeon and the cardiologist.

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