Vascular Surgeon's Defense Verdict Vacated-New Trial Ordered

On June 14, 2019, a New York appellate court rejected a defense verdict awarded to a vascular surgeon by an upstate jury regarding the performance of an aortobifemoral bypass. The malpractice theory advanced at trial was that the surgeon failed to properly inspect the bowel as it was returned to the abdomen. The patient suffered a bowel perforation during surgery which was undetected leading to peritonitis, sepsis, multi-organ failure and was comatose for two months.

The jury was sent out with a verdict sheet that asked the jury to decide: whether a "focused inspection" of the bowel was required. However, none of the experts used this terminology. Rather the term "running the bowel" was described by all the experts as "an extremely thorough mechanism" whereby a surgeon runs his or her hands over the bowel, segment -to-segment, looking at it while flipping it back and forth to examine every aspect of it. The experts only debated whether "running the bowel" was required under the circumstances of an aortobifemoral bypass.

A new trial for the plaintiff was ordered, and the lower court was reversed because: the defense expert agreed the standard of care required the surgeon to inspect the bowel and the defendant vascular surgeon testified that he only examined the top side of the bowel. There was no testimony that the defendant ensured that the assistant surgeon carefully viewed the other side of the bowel. Accordingly, it was found that the evidence preponderated in favor of the plaintiff and that no reasonable  jury could have reached a defense verdict. Monzon v Porter, 2019 NY Slip Op 04855

Ronald C. Burke, Esq

Trial Attorney with 30+ Years of Experience Attorney Ronald C. Burke, Esq. has more than 30 years of experience and has focused his career on representing clients in cases involving personal injury, medical malpractice and legal malpractice. He is a seasoned trial lawyer and has won many seven-figure settlements and verdicts for his clients over the years, including many case victories listed among the largest in the history of the New York State. He has been featured in the news and is a regular lecturer for the New York County Lawyers Association, as well as having lectured before the New York State Bar Association. Ron is also an attorney with Kelner & Kelner, a New York personal injury law firm. Awards and Accolades Mr. Burke's awards and accolades are many. Among them, he has been included in New York Super Lawyers® each year since 2010, and he has received the highest-possible AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®. Verdict Search, a part of the New York Law Journal, frequently recognizes his notable successes after winning some of the highest settlements and verdicts in past years. He was also featured in their list of the "Top New York Verdicts " and "Top New York Settlements." He is a member of the New York State Bar Association and is licensed to practice law in the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, as well as before the United States Supreme Court. When Attorney Burke is not handling legal malpractice cases, he is highly involved in the local community. He was a member of the Village of Rockville Centre Volunteer Fire Department, has served on the local school board and as Chairman of the local Zoning Board. Learn more about Attorney Burke and how he can skillfully handle your malpractice case by contacting the Law Offices of Ronald C. Burke, Esq. right away to schedule your complimentary case evaluation. Our firm is here to help! Contact a New York Legal Malpractice Attorney Our firm provides each client's case with thorough preparation and aggressive representation, ensuring that you win the best possible results for your case whether it is settled or goes to trial. As a seasoned trial lawyer, Mr. Burke can provide the strong and relentless representation you need to establish negligence in a legal malpractice case and to recover any damages you may have suffered. Our firm can recover compensation for pre-trial and trial malpractice, violations of fee arrangements, loss of income, pain and suffering, and much more. Contact us today!


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