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Smith and Keeton Obtain Defense Verdict for General Surgeon in Peoria County

Quinn Johnston attorneys Matthew Smith and Ryan Keeton obtained a not guilty verdict for a Defendant surgeon and his practice group in a recent medical malpractice case in Peoria County.

The case arose out of complications experienced during a laparoscopic small bowel procedure associated with the presence of dense abdominal adhesions caused by prior medical procedures. The defendant surgeon was accused of negligently allowing a surgical resident to perform an exploratory laparoscopy that resulted in arterial injury and death of the patient. Plaintiff argued that the defendant surgeon should have scrubbed in sooner and should have converted the operation to an open procedure upon encountering difficulty in visualizing anatomy. It was further alleged that the defendant surgeon negligently sutured the injured artery, resulting in blood loss to the left lower extremity. Plaintiff also contended that the defendant surgeon failed to seek a vascular surgery consultation.

Smith and Keeton defended the defendant surgeon’s care on multiple grounds. First, they argued that the arterial injury was a known risk of the procedure. Second, they argued that the defendant surgeon exercised appropriate clinical judgment in allowing the resident to proceed. Third, they argued that the decisions to scrub and convert were made in a timely and appropriate fashion. Finally, they argued that given the extent of the injury, suturing the site of the bleed was necessary and requesting a vascular surgery consult would have been futile given the patient’s hemostatic state.

After eight days of trial, Plaintiff asked the jury for over $9.1 million. The jury returned a defense verdict after approximately 4.5 hours of deliberations.

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