(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this medical malpractice/personal injury case and its proceedings.)
Dr. Brown’s placement of the first trocar or Veres needle during the initial surgery caused multiple vascular injuries, including a laceration to the left iliac vein, a laceration to the mesentery and small bowel. Dr. Brown was below the standard of care in causing these injuries.
Dr. Spring, Dr. Brown’s retained expert testified these injuries are not supposed to happen.
Q: you’re not suppose to injury the vein, are you?
Q: You’re not supposed to injure the mesentery, correct?
A: No. That’s not the intent of the operation.
Q: And you’re not suppose to injur the bowel correct?
A: That’s correct.
The same response was given for the injuries to the mesentery and the bowel.
Dr. Spring confirmed these injuries were caused by Dr. Brown’s placement of the trocar.
Q: Tell me how the vein injury was caused.
A: Most likely be the insertion of the trocar.
Further, it was Dr. Brown’s and Dr. Garcia’s duty to discover all areas of injury during the first exploratory surgery.
Q: Whose responsibility was it to determine the sources of the bleeding?
A: I believe the vascular surgeon would do that. That would be h s responsibility.
Q: Am I correct then that once Dr. Brown finished the cholecystectomy despite that fact that he may be responsible for causing the injuries it became Dr. Garcia’s obligation to identify any source of injuries?
Defendant Dr. Brown, whose acts of negligence caused the need for the second surgery, is vicariously liable for the subsequent acts of other negligent health care professionals, including the injury to the abdominal aorta. (C.A.C.I § 3929.) He is separately negligent when he failed to identify these injuries during the surgeries on the 16th, 24th or 26th if he caused the injury to the aorta. Dr. Brown’s failure to discover and repair these lacerations was below the standard of care and was a substantial factor in injuring Plaintiff.
During the course of Plaintiff’s surgery on June 16th Dr. Garcia placed surgical clamps in the area of thebifurcation of the abdominal aorta. As the vascular surgeon it was Dr. Garcia’s obligation and duty to place these clamps in a manner which did not cause injury to Plaintiff. If Dr. Garcia caused injury to either the aorta at its abdominalbifurcation or the left common iliac vein via the placement of the surgical clamps, his conduct fell below the stand ird of care and was a substantial factor in causing Plaintiff a separate injury. Dr. Garcia has presented no evidence that his placement of the clamps did not cause injury. However, even assuming Dr. Garcia did not cause the injuries, he had an obligation and duty to inspect the area of thebifurcation of the abdominal aorta during the initial surgery to discover and immediately repair any and all additional sources of injury or bleeding. Dr. Garcia’s failure to discover and rep air one of both of these injuries was below the standard of care and was a substantial factor in causing Plaintiff’s injury.
Although he seeks to blame Dr. Brown, Dr. Garcia was below the required standard of care by not finding the bowel injury. Even his own expert admits this was a joint responsibility. (See Part 7 of 7.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.