MEDICAL MALPRACTICE: $17.3 MILLION
Injuries claimed: Permanent brain damage
Court: Dane County Circuit Court
Case name: Shelbey N. Bomkamp (dob 11-2-2000, Shelbey was 6 years old at the time of the medical negligence). Margaret Bomkamp and Douglas Bomkamp, Shelbey’s parents vs. Leonard Go, M.D., a General Surgeon employed by Dean Health Systems Inc., Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund
Case number: 07 CV 4013
Judge: Maryann Sumi
Verdict & settlement: Settlement in favor of plaintiff
Special damages: Past medical expenses to June 8, 2009: $1,250,000; future care needs: $13,298,000*; Past & future pain/suffering and disability: parent’s past & future loss of society and companionship: $750,000; future loss of earning capacity: $1,602,000; home modifications: $400,000; *$8,204,327.27 was set aside in a future medical fund pursuant to § 655.015 Wis. Stats and § Ins. 17.26(4)(f) Wis. Admin. Code.
Pursuant to the settlement agreement, the Plaintiffs are proceeding with their challenge to the constitutionality and application of § 655.015 Wis. Stats., and § Ins. 17.26(4)(f) Wis. Admin. Code. If the plaintiffs are successful in that litigation, then the entirety of the set aside amount will be paid to Shelbey Bomkamp forthwith.
Pursuant to the settlement agreement, the defense paid the entirety of the plaintiff’s claims for all damages
Plaintiffs attorney (firm): Daniel A. Rottier and James M. Fergal, Habush Habush & Rottier, SC, Madison
Defendants attorney (firm): Attorney for Dr. Leonard Go; Physicians Insurance Company of Wisconsin: Barrett Corneille, Corneille Law Group, LLC, Madison; Attorney for Injured Patients & Families Compensation Fund: David E. McFarlane, Kate Harrell, Bell, Gierhart & Moore, S.C., Madison
Insurance carrier: Physicians Insurance Company of Wisconsin insured Dr. Go with a $1,000,000 policy limit.
The Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund had coverage from $1,000,000 and above, with no limit for compensatory damages.
Plaintiffs expert witnesses: Plaintiff’s medical experts were primarily her caregivers. Those included physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians, and numerous therapists. In addition, Robert Taylor of Vocational Diagnostics, Inc. was named as a Vocational expert and Life Care Planner and Professor Karl Egge, of Macalister College, St. Paul, Minnesota was named as an Economist.
Plaintiff counsels’ summary of the facts: On June 14, 2007, Shelbey Bomkamp, age 6, underwent a laparoscopic splenectomy surgery. The procedure was elective for a congenital problem with her spleen. If the surgery had been performed uneventfully, Shelbey would have had no residual problems following the surgery.
The surgery was performed by Dr. Leonard Go, General Surgeon employed by Dean Health Systems Inc. Dr. Go utilized a surgical instrument, a morcellator, for which he had no training and no experience. The morcellator device is a circulating blade and in unskilled hands, it can cause massive destruction. During the procedure on Shelbey, Dr. Go transected the infra-renal aorta, cut partially through the inferior vena cava, and caused an injury to the small bowel. There was massive blood loss of approximately 1900ml of blood, which is practically the total blood volume of a 6-year-old child. As a result, Shelbey suffered a cardiac arrest and an anoxic brain injury during the surgery.
Shelbey has suffered permanent brain damage, she is wheelchair bound, and does not talk. She cannot roll over, much less ambulate, or feed herself. She requires 24- hour care, is fed through a gastrostomy tube. She is able to communicate with her parents and caregivers through eye blinking. She has suffered significant cognitive impairment in addition to the physical disabilities. After disclosure of Plaintiffs liability experts, Dr. Go, his insurer and the Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund all admitted to liability on the part of Dr. Go.