Morrison Mahoney Partner Joanne Gulliford Hoban and Associate Lindsey Campbell obtained a defense verdict after a 6-day medical malpractice trial in Suffolk Superior Court. The plaintiff alleged our gastroenterologist was negligent during the performance of a colonoscopy, resulting in a Grade 3 laceration of the spleen and subsequent splenectomy. Plaintiff alleged the defendant was running late and the timing of the procedure was too short, thereby demonstrating the defendant was rushing and exerting excessive force during the procedure. It was the defense position that injury to the spleen during/after colonoscopy is a known and accepted complication of the procedure, which occurs absent negligence or improper performance of the procedure. The defense further argued there was no evidence of any injury during or immediately after the procedure.
Prior to trial, plaintiff dismissed her lack of informed consent claim, leaving only a claim of negligence. Given the dismissal, plaintiff successfully precluded evidence of the consent form signed by the patient, which included the specific risk of splenic injury. Although the court precluded the form itself, the court did permit general testimony regarding the risk and occurrence of splenic injury absent negligence.
The jury deliberated for under an hour before returning a verdict for our client.