October 24, 2012
Gerald Toner successfully defended two Louisville anesthesia physicians and their practice group in a medical malpractice action in Jefferson (Ky.) Circuit Court. The Plaintiffs claimed that the physicians failed to properly intubate the patient, failed to appropriately monitor her intraoperatively, failed to provide adequate follow-up care post-operatively, and failed to respond appropriately when the patient experienced respiratory distress the day following surgery. The Plaintiffs argued that the actions of the anesthesia group constituted an abandonment of the patient. Toner defended the physicians by submitting medical proof that the initial intubation was performed within the standard of care and that intraoperative events were caused by the patient’s agitation while emerging from anesthesia and resulted in no permanent injury. Moreover, the anesthesia group appropriately consulted with the pulmonary/intensivist group to ensure continuity in the management of the patient’s respiratory status. Finally, the physicians acted appropriately to restore the patient’s ventilation and ran a successful code when they were called emergently the day following surgery. Defense experts included an anesthesia physician from Chicago, Illinois and a pathologist from Lexington, Kentucky. The jury agreed with the defense and found in favor of the physician defendants and their group.