Wayne J. Guglielmo, MA

Disclosures

May 20, 2019

In This Article

Surgeon Made a Mess of Controlling Infection, Jury Finds

A Massachusetts man who claimed that his postsurgical complications caused "severe and permanent personal injuries" has been awarded $9.4 million by a Superior Court jury, as a story in The Eagle-Tribune, of North Andover, Massachusetts, reports.[3]

In 2013, Marcos Aguirre was operated on at Lawrence General Hospital, about an hour north of Boston, by a general surgeon for an unreported medical condition. In his claim, Aguirre alleged that, following surgery, he showed signs and symptoms of advanced sepsis and an anastomotic leak, a severe complication that can lead to death.

Despite this, Aguirre said, the surgeon not only failed to "recognize and appreciate" these signs and symptoms but also "failed to inform... [his patient] that his postsurgical condition may be indicative of an anastomotic leak."

Court documents indicate that Aguirre required seven additional procedures and 18 further hospitalizations. He also had to wear a colostomy bag for more than a year.

Throughout the trial, the surgeon maintained that the care he'd provided was "at all times proper and complied with the applicable standard of care for the average qualified general surgeon." Nothing he did "or allegedly failed to do," he said, "caused or contributed to any injury" to his patient.

But the Superior Court jury disagreed. It awarded $7.5 million to the plaintiff for pain and suffering and for loss of companionship, and an additional $1.9 million to his wife for loss of consortium—the loss of the benefits of a marital relationship, including sexual relations.

Currently, Massachusetts is seventh on the list of malpractice payouts by state and fifth in payouts per capita, according to an analysis of the National Practitioner Data Bank by Nebraska-based LeverageRx, a digital lending and insurance marketplace company for physicians and other healthcare providers.[4]

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