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Concurrent Coronary Angioplasty Surgeries Resulted in Death of Woman

$1,750,000 Verdict

Doris Sawyer had a partially-blocked coronary artery. She underwent coronary angioplasty at a well-known Cleveland hospital. During the procedure a metal “stent” was placed into the artery to keep it open. Immediately after the procedure, Mrs. Sawyer complained of severe chest pain. Almost an hour passed before Mrs. Sawyer’s heart doctor arrived to evaluate her. By then it was too late: Mrs. Sawyer died from a hole in her coronary artery caused by the edge of the stent.

In the courtroom, Partner Brian N. Eisen focused on the minute-by-minute whereabouts of Mrs. Sawyer’s heart doctor both before and after Mrs. Sawyer’s operation. By doing so, Mr. Eisen was able to show that the doctor moved too fast from procedure to procedure, maximizing the number of procedures she performed per day, rather than patient safety. The surgical mishap may have been able to be avoided if more time was permitted.

The jury came back with a $1.75 million verdict against the heart doctor. A separate, confidential settlement was reached with the hospital for the role its nurses played in the delayed post-procedure evaluation.