Ted Smith scored a big win representing a reputable Head and Neck Surgeon charged with medical negligence. Plaintiff alleged the Defendant physician negligently performed a completion thyroidectomy resulting in permanent, bilateral vocal cord paralysis from injury to the recurrent laryngeal nerves. Smith defended the case arguing any type of damage to the laryngeal nerves was a known and accepted risk of the procedure and Defendant acted within the requisite standard of care when removing the thyroid, appropriately using state of the art nerve monitoring during the surgery which showed no injury to the nerves. Experts for both Plaintiff and Defendant testified vocal cord paralysis could occur without negligence and there are a number of reasons for the complication, including viral infection, or idiopathically.
The jury returned a unanimous defense verdict finding informed consent and no negligence against the doctor after less than two hours of deliberation.