Morrison Mahoney partners Tom Anderson and Christina Canales recently obtained a defense verdict in a medical malpractice case. It was a six day trial in New Britain Superior Court.
The plaintiff developed a perforation of his colon following a colonoscopy. He claimed that immediately following the colonoscopy, he complained of severe abdominal pain to our client and that our client dismissed his complaints and stated that he was safe to be discharged. His testimony was corroborated by his sister, who was present in the recovery room area. Two days later the plaintiff was admitted to a hospital where he underwent an open procedure with a colostomy. The plaintiff claimed that if the perforation had been diagnosed sooner, he could have been treated without a colostomy. Plaintiff’s expert testified that the standard of care required our client to keep the plaintiff at the endoscopy center until he had no pain and to order an x-ray if that pain did not resolve. Our expert disagreed and testified that patients often have pain following colonoscopies due to gas and that the standard of care permits the patient to be discharged with instructions to return if they continue to have pain. Also, plaintiff’s expert testified that the perforation occurred during the colonoscopy and was a large perforation while our expert opined that the plaintiff had diverticulitis or a perforated diverticulum that would not have been discovered even if an x-ray had been done on the morning of the colonoscopy. The jury deliberated for two and a half hours before returning a defense verdict.