July 30, 2019, PNLR News
Failure to timely treat bowel obstruction
A 12-year-old girl sued a pediatric hospitalist and a surgeon, alleging failure to timely come to the hospital and diagnose her bowel obstruction and failure to treat the obstruction the night of her diagnosis. Had the surgery been timely, the plaintiff claimed, she would not have suffered sepsis and other complications. The parties settled for more than $2 million. Doe v. Roe Physicians.
Doe, 12, went to a hospital, complaining of severe abdominal pain and bilious vomiting. She was admitted to the hospital, where she became increasingly ill over the next three days. An X-ray revealed a small bowel obstruction.
The attending pediatric hospitalist and surgeon came to the hospital the following day, and Doe later underwent surgery performed by a different surgeon. Doe became septic and required life-saving measures, including transfer to a different facility, where she spent the next two months being treated for kidney failure, abdominal compartment syndrome, and necrosis that necessitated amputation of the tips of all of her toes.
Doe sued the attending pediatric hospitalist and first surgeon, alleging failure to timely diagnose the bowel obstruction, come to the hospital, and treat the obstruction the night of the diagnosis. Had the surgery not been delayed, the plaintiff argued, she would not have become systemically ill.
The defense argued that an earlier diagnosis was not possible and that Doe’s initial X-rays had been normal.
The parties settled for more than $2 million.
Citation: Doe v. Roe Physicians, Confidential Dkt. No. (Cal. Super. Ct. Los Angeles Cnty. Mar. 4, 2019).
Plaintiff counsel: AAJ member John S. Hinman, Long Beach, Calif.; and Benjamin T. Ikuta, Irvine, Calif.