Morrison Mahoney Partner Joanne Gulliford Hoban and Associate Lindsey Campbell obtained a defense verdict after a 5-day medical malpractice trial in Worcester Superior Court. The plaintiff alleged the defendant physician negligently withheld the medication Lasix during a hospital admission, resulting in pulmonary edema and the death of a 62 year-old woman. The decedent had a significant past medical history of chronic obstruction pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure, and was admitted to the hospital with an ongoing C. difficile infection/ severe dehydration. The defendant-hospitalist withheld the decedent’s Lasix while administering rehydration therapy as the diuretic medication would only further the patient’s dehydration.
Plaintiff presented a D.O. as an expert witness and focused on the collaborative nature of the physician-patient relationship. The plaintiff asserted the Lasix should have been administered because the patient was requesting it and the patient knew her body best. The defense utilized a cardiology expert who testified that the Lasix was not indicated at the time of patient’s request and would have further deteriorated the patient’s condition. The cardiology expert also testified, over objection, as to the significant cardiac/respiratory findings on autopsy and uncertainty as to cause of death.
The jury returned a verdict for the defendant after a few hours of deliberation. This is Joanne and Lindsey’s third defense verdict of the year, with back-to-back trial wins in the month of October.