Million Settlement with the PCF

$2.5 million settlement with the PCF

Bowel perforated during surgery;
failure to treat infection timely;
$2.5 million settlement with the PCF

On the day before Thanksgiving, plaintiff was scheduled for a routine outpatient laparoscopic hernia repair by her general surgeon at a Covington Hospital. When plaintiff awoke from the surgery, she immediately complained of intense abdominal pain and was admitted to the hospital for observation.

Over the course of that night, plaintiff spiked a high fever (102.3 degrees), and her vital signs rapidly became abnormal - even to the point of being alarming. Although plaintiff exhibited the cardinal signs of a bowel perforation, her treating surgeon did nothing for her until it was essentially too late.

When plaintiff was admitted to the ICU Friday afternoon, an experienced ICU nurse called the defendant surgeon and told her that the plaintiff's bowel was probably perforated and that immediate surgical attention was required. Remedial surgery was not performed until midday on Saturday, three days after the original surgery.

Plaintiff almost died during the remedial surgery. Her septic condition was so severe that she underwent numerous surgeries and medical procedures to save her life, and she spent the next thirteen months in a hospital or skilled-nursing care facility before being released to home. Plaintiff's related medical expenses totaled approximately $2 million.

Just prior to the jury trial scheduled to begin in December 2012 in St. Tammany Parish, the defendant surgeon admitted malpractice pursuant to the Louisiana Malpractice Act.

Plaintiff reserved her right to seek excess damages from the Patient's Compensation Fund (PCF), and a June 2013 mediation resulted in a $2.5 million settlement with the PCF.

Dell,et al. v. Louisiana Patient's Compensation Fund, et al.,
No 2009-14690,22nd JDC, Div. E, 6/13
Plaintiffs' counsel: J. Cullens of Walters, Papillion, Thomas
Cullens, LLC; Baton Rouge
Plaintiffs' experts: Market W. Gordon, M.D.,F.A.C.S., general
Surgery, Pembroke Pines, Florida; and Pam Farmer, RN-BC,
MSN, CLNC, nursing care, Baton Rouge

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