$1.5 million verdict against surgeon

April 1, 1993

When this 53 year old man was diagnosed with lymphoma, an operation was performed to remove his spleen so the extent of the cancer could be determined. The surgeon neglected to place drainage tubes coming out of the surgical wound in order to allow excess fluid to drain. The fluid built up in his abdomen and became infected. The patient developed pancreatitis, severe inflammation of the pancreas, requiring extensive treatment and multiple surgeries. The case was being handled by another law firm with little experience in handling medical malpractice cases. Chris Bernard was called in just before trial to take over the case. He was able to quickly find the necessary expert witnesses and convinced the jury that the surgeon was negligent. Damages of $1,500,000 were awarded.