MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE: $940,000
Case name: Marzofka v. Dr. E.
Case type: Medical negligence
Case number: 06-CV-368
Court: Wood County
Judge: Gregory Potter
Injuries alleged: The plaintiff suffered a bowel injury during the course of a laparoscopic hernia repair. Only a portion of the bowel injury was repaired by the defendant surgeon, which resulted in sepsis, and a subsequent operation during which the remaining portion of the bowel was repaired. As a result of the injury, the middle-aged plaintiff will be required to wear a colostomy bag the rest of his life.
Outcome: Verdict for plaintiffs.
Past and future health care expenses were stipulated by the parties at $175,000. Future health care expenses were stipulated at $64,000. Past loss of earning capacity was requested by the plaintiff and conceded by the defense in the amount of $265,000.
However, the jury chose to award $175,000.
Plaintiff’s counsel sought an award of $600,000 in future loss of earning capacity, and the defense conceded an amount of $500,000. The jury awarded $300,000.
For past and future pain and suffering, plaintiffs’ counsel requested an award between $2 million and $4 million. The defense conceded an award for those categories of between $500,000 and $1 million. The jury awarded $250,000 for the categories of past and future pain and suffering.
The plaintiff’s attorney sought $250,000 from the jury for the wife’ loss of society and companionship. The defense argued that award should be included within the award for the husband’s pain and suffering. The jury awarded $40,000.
Verdict date: April 10, 2008
Plaintiff attorney: Daniel Rottier, Habush Habush & Rottier, Madison
Defense attorney: Dr. E & PIC: Barrett J. Corneille/Mark T. Budzinski; Storo Enso North
America: Robert E. Hankel; Wisconsin Injured Patients & Families Compensation Fund: William Wick
Plaintiff experts: General Surgeon: Dr. Irvin Modlin; Economist: Dr. Karl Egge; Vocational Specialist: Kevin Schutz
Defense experts: General Surgeon: Dr. Richard Cattey; Surgeon: Dr. Constantine Frantzides
Defense counsel’s summary of case: Defendant surgeon inadvertently struck the plaintiff’s bowel while doing a laparoscopic hernia repair. Recognizing the bowel was injured, the operation was immediately transformed into an open procedure, and a bowel repair was done with sutures on one side of the bowel. After extensive searching for an additional bowel injury, nothing was found and the patient’s incision was closed.
Thereafter, the patient became septic and a subsequent procedure revealed an additional bowel injury that the initial surgeon did not find.