Gall Bladder Surgery Malpractice – Defense Verdict

Rogers v. Surgical Associates et al., Multnomah County Case No. 15CV16519

Plaintiff Rogers went to the emergency department with severe pain in his abdomen.  He alleged that an ultrasound was administered and the radiologist concluded that the distal portion of an enlarged common bile duct was not well visualized and that there may be gallstones in the common bile duct that further imaging with a magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) might help reveal. Defendant, a surgeon for Surgical Associates, was consulted.  He performed a laparoscopic gallbladder removal.  He did not order an MRCP before the surgery or perform any testing during surgery to determine if any gallstones were present in Rogers’ common bile duct. There were gallstones present that were blocking bile secretion.  Sometime after the surgery, Rogers’ bile duct ruptured, resulting in bile entering the abdominal cavity and initiating a life-threatening infection.  Rogers sought $225,000 for past and future medical expenses and $750,000 for non-economic damages.

Defendant denied that his treatment fell below the standard of care. He argued that the radiologist interpreted the first ultrasound as an inflamed gall gladder with the possible passage of gallstones. Rogers was admitted to the hospital for observation during which his liver function testing continued to improve suggesting that he had passed a common bile duct stone. Before surgery, his liver functioning tests were mostly normal. As such, further pre-operative or intra-operative testing was not medically necessary.

Plaintiff’s Counsel – Warren John West

Defense Counsel – Gordie Wellborn

Verdict – Defense Verdict

Date – March 31, 2017

April 10, 2017

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