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08/19/2022

Attorney Carey Secures Unanimous Jury Defense Verdict in Wrongful Death Claim

Patrick C. Carey, a partner in the firm’s Scranton office, recently secured a unanimous jury defense verdict for his client cardiologist in a medical malpractice wrongful death claim.

In this case, the patient suffered from atrial fibrillation and underwent cardioversion twice which failed.  He was placed on Xarelto to prevent a stroke from atrial fibrillation.  He was then scheduled for an ablation procedure in 2019.  A transesophageal echocardiogram was ordered in advance of the cardiac ablation procedure to rule out thrombus or blood clot in the left atrium and left atrial appendage.  Two days in advance of the transesophageal echocardiogram, the physicians withheld the patient’s anticoagulation.  The transesophageal echocardiogram was performed and interpreted by our client, a board-certified cardiologist, who reported no thrombus and the ablation procedure was performed.

After the procedure, the post-anesthesia care unit staff were unable to excavate the patient and he was admitted to the ICU for further follow up and extubation the following morning.  The following morning, when they could not arouse the patient, a CT scan of the brain was ordered which revealed a massive stroke with herniation which was not recoverable.  The family was notified and agreed to disconnect all life-support.

Attorney Carey and co-counsel, aided by the expert testimony of the Chief of Cardiology at Penn Medicine and the Chief of Electrophysiology at Hopkins, successfully argued that the testing was performed and interpreted correctly by our client cardiologist and that the ICE catheter utilized during the ablation procedure showed no thrombus.  Attorney Carey and co-counsel also successfully argued that stroke is a risk of an ablation procedure and that the patient was never going to return to work for other reasons.

After eight days of trial, the jury returned a unanimous defense verdict in favor of our client cardiologist against a $3 million demand.

If you have any questions about this case, please contact Pat Carey at pcarey@c-wlaw.com or (570) 347-0600