$750,000 Medical Malpractice Verdict
A Camden County Jury awarded $750,000 to a Rossetti & DeVoto client on October 10, 2013 after she sustained internal injuries during a c-section. Andy Rossetti tried the case for the firm in a trial that lasted two weeks before the Honorable Anthony Pugliese, J.S.C. Rossetti alleged that the doctor injured the small bowel during the c-section and then failed to identify the injury during the surgery. Her failure to protect the bowel resulted in the bowel contents to spill into the abdominal cavity. The bacteria-laden contents infected the plaintiff to the point of peritonitis which progressed to sepsis. The sepsis caused cardiac instability and respiratory problems and led to the formation of abscesses in the plaintiff’s abdomen.
The plaintiff required two, otherwise unnecessary, surgeries to repair the bowel and try to clear the infection. There was also two procedures performed in which drains were placed in several of the abscesses to permit them to drain. The plaintiff remained in the hospital for approximately one month until she was discharged.
The plaintiff was left with a large scar from the exploratory repair surgery and was discharged with a golf-ball-sized abscess still in her abdomen. That abscess took three years to resolve. The plaintiff also alleged that the abdominal surgeries aggravated her preexisting spinal pain associated with an earlier fusion from an accident in 2003.
The defendant alleged that the injury to the small bowel was an accepted complication of a c-section. They alleged that the doctor was not negligent and that the injury likely occurred during manipulation of the uterus in an area that was not visible to the surgeon.
The jury deliberated for 3 ½ hours and returned a unanimous verdict 8 – 0 that the defendant deviated from the standard of care and that her deviation was a proximate cause of plaintiff’s injuries. The jury awarded $750,000.00 in damages and pre-judgment interest as well as Medicare liens will be added to that number.