Patient Who Suffered Ruptured Spleen During Colonoscopy Due To Doctor's Alleged Use Of Excessive Force Reaches $1.1 Million Settlement With Doctor, Practice In New York State Medical Malpractice Suit Following $1.27 Million Verdict In Favor Of Patient
On Sept. 26, 2010, Lola Heifetz went to gastroenterologist Robin Baradarian, M.D. at The Brooklyn Gastroenterology and Endoscopy, PLLC for a routine screening colonoscopy. During the procedure, Baradarian allegedly performed the colonoscopy in a hurried manner and used excessive force while passing the colonoscope through the splenic flexure. Allegedly due to the improper technique and negligent force used by Baradarian, Heifetz's spleen was forcibly detached from the splenocolic ligament, causing it to rupture and hemorrhage profusely.
Following the procedure, Heifetz hemorrhaged both in her spleen and from the outside capsule of the spleen into the peritoneal cavitity. Due to excessive blood loss and pain, Heifetz collapsed at home and was taken to Maimonides Medical Center. Surgeons placed a coil into a splenic artery in an attempt to stop the hemorrhage but Heifetz continued to hemorrhage and showed signs of hemorrhagic and septic shock. Heifetz underwent emergency surgery where surgeons performed an exploratory laparotomy to remove her spleen. Heifetz remained hospitalized for six days. Because the spleen stores and purifies red blood cells and helps fight certain infections, Heifetz became afraid of leaving her home for fear of contracting an illness. Heifetz was also left with a permanent surgical scar from her breastbone to her belly button.
On March 15, 2011, Heifetz filed a medical malpractice suit against Baradarian, Robin Baradarian, M.D., P.C., and related entities Brooklyn Gastroenterology and Endoscopy, PLLC, Brooklyn Gastroenterology and Endoscopy Associates Greater New York Endoscopy Surgical Center, Greater New York Endoscopy Surgical Center, Greater NY Endoscopy Center, Brooklyn Endoscopy SC, LLC, Brooklyn Endoscopy Surgical Center LLC d/b/a Greater New York Endoscopy Surgical Center, and Brooklyn Endoscopy Surgical Center d/b/a The Greater New York Endoscopy Surgical Center in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Kings. Heifetz asserted the defendants were careless and negligent in the care and treatment rendered to her, departed from standard and accepted medical, gastroenterological and diagnostic practices and procedures, and failed and neglected to timely, properly and appropriately diagnose and treat her. Heifetz also argued the defendants failed to warn and advise her of the risks, hazards and dangers associated with the procedure and any available alternatives to it.
The defendants took a no pay position with respect to settlement prior to trial.
Trial was presided over by Judge Michelle Weston. Heifetz called Dr. Gerald Salen as an expert. Salen was a gastroenterologist who was one of the first doctors to write about the risk of splenic rupture with the use of excessive force in the splenic flexure area. The defendants called gastroenterologist Dr. Perry Gould and surgeon Dr. Danne Lorio to support Baradarian's actions. However, neither of the defense experts could find any evidence the rupture was caused by something other than use of excessive force.
After a three week trial and 45 minutes of deliberation, the jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of Heifetz. Heifetz was awarded $ 670,000 for past pain and suffering and $ 600,000 for future pain and suffering.
Following trial, the parties reached a $ 1,100,000 settlement.
Plaintiff was represented by Marijo C. Adimey of Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf in New York, NY. Counsel for the defense was from the firm of Perry, Van Etten, Rozanski & Primavera, LLP in Melville, NY.
Lexis Advance subscribers may view the complete summary here: Lola Heifetz v. Robin Baradarian, M.D., P.C., et al. 2016 Jury Verdicts LEXIS 12838.
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