PWRFL wins $8,500,000 verdict after doctor in training at Virginia Mason Medical Center botches urologic stent procedure
In January 2013, PWRFL’s client, a 44-year-old man, was diagnosed with an abdominal tumor that required surgical removal. Our client’s wife was an anesthesiologist at Virginia Mason in Seattle, so the couple chose Virginia Mason for the surgery and made specific decisions about the surgeons who would be operating. The lead surgeon wanted to have a urologist place a ureter stent at the beginning of the surgery. The plaintiffs agreed to the Chief of Urology to do the stent procedure, but on the morning of surgery that urologist did not show up and a doctor in training (“fellow”) was sent to do the urology portion of the surgery. The plaintiffs claimed that no consent was provided for the fellow. The plaintiff had urologic complications in the recovery room immediately after surgery, and signs and symptoms of a urethral injury continued for several days at the hospital and for the next six weeks. The plaintiff reported these problems during post-operative appointments. Virginia Mason failed to do anything for the apparent urethral injury, even though the medical records stated that the stent procedure had been “traumatic.” Plaintiffs sought treatment elsewhere at the six-week mark and the plaintiff was immediately diagnosed with an obliterated urethra. Surgical repair of this condition was a two-stage process that took seven months. Despite the surgical repair, the plaintiff was left with pain, disability and disfigurement.
The four-week trial concluded in April 2017 and a verdict was returned in favor of the plaintiffs. The jury found that employees at the hospital violated the standard of care and awarded $6,000,000 in noneconomic damages to the patient and $2,500,000 to the patient’s wife.
You can read the Seattle Times article about the verdict here.