Missouri Medical Malpractice Attorney A.W. Smith Secures $2,000,000 Verdict

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Missouri Medical Malpractice Attorney Aaron W. Smith, based out of Columbia, Missouri, secured a $2,000,000 award for a case involving an unnecessary and unsafe medical procedure in southern Missouri.

Plaintiff “McGinnis”, a 38-year-old man, was admitted to Wesley Medical Center, with severe right-sided abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. McGinnis, who weighed 420 pounds, had been suffering from these symptoms for the past two months. He believed that the symptoms were similar to a gallstone attack he had suffered eight year earlier, which ultimately required his bladder be removed.

A gastroenterologist (the defendant) at the Medical Center ordered a full lab work up with both upper and lower endoscopies. None of the tests were conclusive, and McGinnis continued to have pain, so the gastroenterologist suggested an endoscopic procedure called an ERCP. This, the doctor claimed, would allow them to see if McGinnis was suffering from a gallstone that obstructing the common bile duct.

The defendant advised McGinnis that if he did have an obstruction of the duct that it could be life threatening. However, the defendant did not explain to McGinnis that the ERCP is one of the most technically difficult endoscopic procedures to perform, and that it also carries the highest likelihood of both complications and death from the procedure. McGinnis was also not advised that the endoscopy should be avoided if the likelihood of a gallstone was low, or if there is a high risk of complications from the surgery.

During the procedure, the defendant encountered complications due to the plaintiff’s size and weight, and was unable to locate the common bile duct on fluoroscopy. Immediately following the procedure, the plaintiff began to experience extreme abdominal pain and acute pancreatitis. Five days after the procedure, McGinnnis died of cardiomyopathy, pulmonary embolus and acute necrotizing pancreatitis.

During the trial, the plaintiff’s injury attorney, Aaron W. Smith, alleged that the ERCP was not necessary, that the defendant didn’t uphold the expected standard of care when he convinced the plaintiff to have the endoscopy, or when he was performing the procedure, and that alternative procedures should have been discussed and offered to the patient.

The trial resulted in a $2,000,000 verdict in favor of the plaintiff.

The A.W. Smith Law Firm in Columbia handles wrongful death and medical malpractice cases all over the State of Missouri. If you have questions about how to choose a law firm that is equipped to handle your wrongful death or medical malpractice case, please contact us today at 573-443-7300 or visit are website at www.awsmithlaw.com. The A.W. Smith Law Firm has recovered millions in settlments and verdicts in serious injury and wrongful death cases.