Surgeon's error damages digestive system; $605K settlement at trial. Riverside County.

Summary

Negligence during a gallbladder removal is said to cause permanent injury to plaintiff's bile system. Settlement at trial.

The Case

  • Case Name: Welch v. Roe Surgeon
  • Court and Case Number: Riverside Superior Court / PSC1302303
  • Date of Settlement: Monday, April 13, 2015
  • Date Action was Filed: Friday, November 08, 2013
  • Type of Action: Medical Malpractice
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. James Latting
  • Plaintiffs:
    Florlie Welch, 36, cook
    David Welch, spouse of Florlie Welch
  • Defendants:
    Roe Surgeon
  • Type of Result: Settlement at Trial

The Result

  • Settlement Amount: $605,000
  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 1 week

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Mulligan, Banham & Findley by Brian K. Findley and Janice F. Mulligan, San Diego.

    Law Office of Matthew J. Speredelozzi by Matthew J. Speredelozzi, San Diego.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Davis Grass Goldstein Housouer & Finlay by Campbell H. Finlay, Ontario.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Moses Fallas, M.D., surgery, Beverly Hills.

    Giovanna Casola, M.D., radiology, San Diego.

    Liz Holakiewicz, RN, life care planning, San Diego.

     

  • Leo Murphy, M.D., surgery, San Diego.

    Frederick Birnberg, M.D., radiology, Newport Beach.

    Rhonda Renteria, life care planning, Corona.

  • Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):

    James Mills, economist.

  • Defendant's Technical Expert(s):

    Constantine Boukidis, M.A., economist, Los Angeles.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    Defendant surgeon performed a laparoscopic cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal) upon plaintiff, Florlie Welch. Plaintiff's bile system was subsequently found to be injured, necessitating several invasive diagnostic procedures, reconstructive surgery (roux-en-y), ongoing pain and difficulty digesting food.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    Plaintiffs, the patient and her husband, contended that the defendant surgeon transected Ms. Welch's common bile duct/common hepatic duct during the original surgery, and did not follow safety protocols that would have prevented this injury, and which are required by the standard of care. Plaintiff's husband sued under a loss of consortium theory.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Defendant surgeon contended that he followed the standard of care, and that he did not transect the common duct. He contended that the common duct necrosed and fell apart after the original surgery. Defendant further contended that a post-operative radiology study was misread and an unnecessary post-operative exploratory laparotomy was performed by other doctors, which caused or contributed to plaintiff's injury.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $112,320
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: $386,290
  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings: $138,919