Medical Malpractice – Confidential Recovery Against A New York Hospital

This medical malpractice action involved a 41-year-old woman, who died while undergoing a laparoscopic procedure to harvest a kidney to donate to her brother. After perforating the aorta during the insertion of a laparoscopic cannula, the defendant surgeon continued the surgery despite the inability to control hemodynamic status. The defendant realized that the perforation had occurred and converted to an open procedure, but negligently failed to control the bleeding, which led to the decedent's death. As a result, the kidney could not be harvested.

The decedent left behind three young daughters, and they would have contended that the loss of parental nurture and guidance was especially great. The plaintiffs also would have contended that if managed properly after converting to an open procedure, the defendant surgeon would have been able to control the bleeding and avoid death. The decedent's brother was also a plaintiff, and contended that a legal duty was owed to him, despite the fact that he had not yet been operated upon when his sister died. His claim involved severe emotional distress by not obtaining the kidney and losing his sister.

Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin partner Phil Russotti settled the case for a confidential but significant settlement prior to the service of a summons and complaint. The recovery included a substantial settlement on the emotional distress claim of the decedent's brother.

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