Defense Verdict for General Surgeon in Wrongful Death Claim
Tom Carlock and Eric Frisch successfully defended a general surgeon in a wrongful death claim in Bartow County Superior Court (Cartersville, Georgia). The patient was at the hospital for a small bowel obstruction. The surgeon ordered the placement of a nasogastric tube in the operating room. Because it was an “open” procedure, a laparotomy, the surgeon reached up and felt the nasogastric tube in the stomach. About 18 hours later, the patient became sick and, on investigation, it was discovered the patient had suffered a rupture of the esophagus from the nasogastric tube. The patient was then transferred to another hospital, but she died 10 days later at age 85. Plaintiffs alleged that the surgeon failed to confirm placement of the nasogastric tube in the operating room and failed to diagnose and treat the perforation in a timely manner. The jury returned a defense verdict in just over 3 hours.