Boy Sustains Severe Brain Damage During Surgery, Parents Sue for Medical Malpractice, Part 1 of 2

It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this medical malpractice case could just as easily occur at any of the healthcare facilities in the area, such as Kaiser Permanente, UC Davis Medical Center, Mercy, Methodist, or Sutter.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury lawsuit and its proceedings.)

INJURIES: The plaintiff had severe brain damage.


In 2005, the plaintiff, age 5, was scheduled to undergo the third and final heart reconstruction procedure called the “Fontan” completion operation. He was born with congenital heart defects, including dextrocardia, in which the heart is in the right chest instead of the left, being born with only one ventricle.

The single ventricle deformity is addressed via the three-part Fontan surgery. The plaintiff underwent the first operation as an infant and the second one at age three. After the third, oxygen levels are typically nearly normal and most children can lead healthy, normal lives.

In the first part of the surgery, the surgeon performs a re-sternotomy, opening the sternum via a previous, healed incision. During this procedure, the defendant surgeon used an oscillating saw and entered the plaintiff’s aorta, resulting in massive blood loss for more than 12 minutes. The plaintiff sustained severe brain damage.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

On his behalf, the plaintiff’s parents sued the doctor and the hospital where the surgery was performed, alleging medical malpractice and vicarious liability.

They contended that, as there was a prior sternotomy, the doctor should have realized that there was a possibility that the aorta was adherent to the anterior sternum.

They argued that, in planning the surgery, it is crucial that the surgeon determine how much space is between the aorta and the sternum. They argued that the pre-operative angiogram showed almost no space at all between the aorta and sternum, though the doctor had asserted that there appeared to be “some” space between the two.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Contact Information