MEDICAL MALPRACTICE: ZERO DOLLARS
Injuries claimed: Plaintiffs alleged that Dr. Borgnes should have added more information to his nuclear study report and that he misinterpreted an aspect of the test. Plaintiffs alleged Dr. Jenny should have sent Mr. Weborg to the cath lab based on the prior testing. Plaintiffs alleged Dr. Rebhan failed to send Mr. Weborg back to a cardiologist after continued complaints of chest pain.
Court: Door County Circuit Court
Case name: Weborg v. Jenny, et al
Case number: 07-CV-59
Judge: Judge Todd Ehlers
Verdict & settlement: Jury returned defense verdict
Highest offer: The parties stipulated to $1,000,000 in damages.
Award: Zero dollars (no negligence)
Disposition date: Oct. 16, 2009
Original filing date: March 6, 2007
Plaintiffs attorney (firm): J. Michael End, Hierseman & Crain, LLC, Milwaukee
Defendants attorney (firm): Mark Budzinski, Corneille Law Group LLC, Green Bay, for Dr. Rebhan; Bill Bauer, Coyne, Schultz, Becker & Bauer SC, Madison, for Dr. Borgnes, and Dave Colwin, Sager, Colwin, Samuelsen & Associates SC, Fond du Lac, for Dr. Jenny
Insurance carrier: PIC
Plaintiffs expert witnesses: Dr. Richard Lewan, family practitioner. Dr. Gary Dillehay, radiologist. Dr. Jeffrey Breall and Dr. Karyl VanBenthuysen, cardiologists.
Defendants expert witnesses: Dr. Alan David and Dr. Keith Ness, family practitioners. Dr. Marc Kaye, radiologist. Dr. Matthew Wolff, cardiologist.
Defense counsel’s summary of the facts: On March 24, 2004 William Weborg presented to his family physician, Dr. Rebhan, with complaints of chest pain while exercising. Dr. Rebhan performed a resting EKG, and then referred Weborg for an exercise stress test. Dr. Borgnes reviewed the nuclear portion of the EST, and found Weborg’s left ventricle to be mildly dilated, no reversible abnormalities, and a small fixed defect involving the anteroseptal region. The ejection fraction was 46 percent. The EKG portion of the stress test was markedly abnormal, with ST segment depressions showing ischemia.
After reviewing the results of the EST, Dr. Rebhan sent Mr. Weborg for a cardiology consult with Dr. Jenny. Dr. Jenny reviewed the EKGs and EST and took a history. Dr. Jenny determined the small fixed defect found in the nuclear study was likely artifact and there was no definitive evidence of ischemia. His impression was that Weborg’s complaints were most likely caused by musculoskeletal chest wall pain. Weborg was told to call back if his symptoms did not resolve.
On June 25, 2004 Weborg presented to Dr. Rebhan for a routine physical. Upon questioning, Weborg mentioned that he continued to have chest pain with exertion. Dr. Rebhan referred Weborg to physical therapy given Dr. Jenny’s report. Dr. Rebhan noted Mr. Weborg had been ‘ruled out from a cardiac standpoint.’
Weborg presented to physical therapy on Aug. 27, 2004. Weborg complained of burning chest pain that got better by drinking water. The burning in his upper chest spread into his arms. The pain was worse with bending forward, walking fast, or lifting heavy things. The pain would get better if he rested for about five minutes. The physical therapist found no tenderness to palpation and no signs of musculoskeletal impairment.
The physical therapist consulted Dr. Rebhan, and Dr. Rebhan prescribed a 10-day trial of Nexium for possible GERD.
Weborg called Dr. Rebhan on Sept. 10, 2004 to report the Nexium was not working but that he found relief with Tylenol. Dr. Rebhan scheduled an office visit with Weborg.
Before this office visit, Weborg died of a sudden cardiac arrest on Sept. 26, 2004. He was 42 years old. He left a widow and three grade school sons.