A New York County Defense Verdict for Robert Deutsch

July 2016 –

Mr. Deutsch and his litigation team for received a successful defense verdict in New York County. The plaintiff presented to hospital with acute abdominal pain. A CT scan showed either perforated gastric ulcer or perforated gastric neoplasm. A subsequent EGD demonstrated a suspected gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST); biopsies during the EGD were negative for cancer. The defendant recommended surgery to remove the suspected GIST and consent was obtained for laparoscopic removal of GIST vs. laparotomy with antrectomy. Intraoperative EGD revealed no GIST and intraoperative biopsies were again negative for cancer. However, during the course of surgery, the laparotomy was converted to an open procedure and the antrectomy performed. Plaintiff contended that additional pre-operative testing should have been performed which would have revealed no GIST, thus avoiding surgery, and that the failure to do constituted a departure. Plaintiff further contended that when the intraoperative EGD revealed no GIST, the surgery should have been stopped, never converted to a laparotomy and that the antrectomy should never have been performed. Further, it was claimed that since informed consent was given based on the belief that there was a GIST, when it was discovered there was none, the defendant did not have consent to proceed with the antrectomy. Defendant contended that the CT finding of perforated gastric ulcer vs perforated gastric neoplasm necessitated surgery to definitively ascertain whether there was a GIST present and, that the antrectomy was warranted given what was likely a perforated ulcer despite the long-term use of anti-ulcer medications.