September 26, 2017, PNLR E-Newsletter

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Negligent performance of endovascular coiling procedure

illustration of aneurysm-endovascular-treatment-spiral

The plaintiffs alleged that a neuroradiologist misplaced and overinflated a balloon used in the procedure and was inexperienced with the procedure, leading to the patient’s fatal brain bleed. The jury awarded $7 million. Raznoff v. American Anesthesiology of Va., P.C.
 

Karen Ebersole, 55, was diagnosed as having a middle cerebral artery aneurysm. She underwent a balloon-assisted endovascular coiling procedure performed by neuroradiologist Richard Pergolizzi. During the procedure, which was performed under general anesthesia, Pergolizzi used an inflated balloon to guide coils into the aneurysm and keep them in place to avoid a rupture. Ebersole’s aneurysm ruptured before the coils were put in place, however, and she suffered a brain bleed that led to her death three days later. She is survived by her two adult children.

The children, on behalf of their mother’s estate, sued Pergolizzi and his then-employer, alleging negligent performance of the coiling procedure. The plaintiffs claimed that the doctor misplaced and overinflated the balloon, contrary to manufacturer’s instructions, and was inexperienced with the balloon procedure. Suit did not claim lost income.

The jury awarded $7 million, subject to the state’s damages cap. Posttrial motions are pending.

Citation: Raznoff v. American Anesthesiology of Va., P.C., No. 2016-01808 (Va. Cir. Ct. Fairfax Cnty. July 19, 2017).

Plaintiff counsel: AAJ members Lee Bowers and Anthony Russell, both of Roanoke, Va.

Plaintiff experts: Rashid Janjua, neuroradiology, Winston-Salem, N.C.; and William Hand, anesthesiology, Greenville, N.C.

Defense experts: Mary Jensen, neuroradiology, Charlottesville, Va.; Bryan Pukenas, neuroradiology, Philadelphia; and Peter Sebel, anesthesiology, Atlanta.