Dave Johnson and Ashley Griffin secured a defense verdict in a medical malpractice case against a physician and his employer in Jefferson County on July 15, 2021. The jury returned a unanimous verdict after about two hours of deliberation. Plaintiffs’ lawyers from Philadelphia had made a pretrial settlement demand of $2 M.
The lawsuit involved a hysterectomy and resulting infertility to a 27-year-old woman after giving birth to a healthy baby. The woman’s husband also was seeking damages for loss of consortium.
Following delivery at a regional hospital , the plaintiff developed a serious postpartum hemorrhage. Her obstetrician immediately took her back to surgery, but despite his quick and best efforts the bleeding could not be entirely stopped. The patient was transferred to a large Pittsburgh hospital where a hysterectomy was performed.
Plaintiffs contended that the doctor focused on trying to correct uterine bleeding instead of stitching a small cervical tear, which plaintiffs’ expert claimed was the major source of the bleeding. The defense responded that the overwhelming problem was with the uterine bleeding and that all appropriate measures had been taken to resolve the hemorrhage . It was also emphasized that the physicians in Pittsburgh, after the transfer , also focused on attempting to stop the uterine bleeding and that their repair of the cervical tear only occurred eight hours after arrival and subsequent to a procedure not available at the hospital where the baby was born— which was to try to resolve the uterine bleeding through an interventional radiology procedure.
Jurors returned the defense verdict minutes after requesting to review the documentation proving that the Pittsburgh hospital did not undertake to promptly repair the cervical tear.