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Sommers Schwartz attorneys Jason Thompson and Lance Young obtained a $1,630,000 class action settlement on behalf of a more than 3,000 individuals and companies who received ...
  • Surgical Malpractice—Failure to Address Portal Vein Occlusion Leading to the Patient’s Wrongful Death: Clos v. Nathan

Sommers Schwartz attorneys Richard Groffsky and Jay Yasso filed a wrongful death action on behalf of the estate of a man who died at age 43 from complications following pancreatic cancer surgery.

According to the medical malpractice complaint, the decedent underwent a pancreaticoduodenectomy to remove a cancerous pancreatic tumor. The procedure, performed by the defendant general surgeon, involved a portal vein resection, a known complication of which is a narrowing or blockage of the vein by a blood clot (called portal vein thrombosis or PVT).

The decedent’s estate claimed the defendant surgeon did not recognize the occlusion or stricture, causing the patient’s premature death. Had the surgeon recognized the occlusion or stricture as suggested by an ultrasound of the anatomy in question, he could have addressed the patient’s worsening liver enzyme and lactate levels, quickly ordered a CT scan or other diagnostic testing, taken the patient back to the operating room, or sought interventional radiology to re-open the portal vein. 

Because of the defendant’s negligence, the decedent suffered multisystem organ failure and sepsis due to widespread hepatic necrosis by the portal vein occlusion. 

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