Smith Wins Difficult Med Mal Case In Oneida County

Plaintiff claimed Defendant emergency department physician was negligent when he struck the carotid artery during placement of a central venous catheter which prompted immediate transfer to Upstate Hospital for emergent vascular repair.

Either during or subsequent to the repair procedure, Plaintiff suffered an ischemic stroke followed by several additional cerebral vascular events. As a result, Plaintiff suffered left-sided hemiplegia and residual weakness of her upper extremities for approximately five years.

Ted Smith defended the case arguing the central line was medically necessary based upon Plaintiff’s worsening sepsis condition and although Defendant inadvertently struck the carotid artery, this was a known and accepted risk of the procedure and Defendant acted at all times within the requisite standard of care when placing the catheter.

Smith successfully moved for a directed verdict on Plaintiff’s informed consent cause of action and further succeeded in limiting Plaintiff’s damages to a six-month period of treatment based on Plaintiff’s failure to causally relate her treatment to Defendant’s alleged negligence.

The jury returned a unanimous defense verdict finding no negligence against the doctor after two hours of deliberation.