Mary Kay Scott and Christopher Leach obtain a defense verdict in month long trial

Tried 09/23/19 – 10/25/19

Mary Kay Scott and Christopher Leach represented a defendant obstetrician in a medical negligence lawsuit from September 23, 2019, through October 25, 2019, in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Chicago IL. The defendant client, an obstetrician gynecologist and a co-defendant general surgeon, were sued by a pregnant patient for alleged failure to timely diagnose rectal adenocarcinoma. The patient had IVF from an outside fertility expert, and then came to the defendant obstetrician for prenatal care, and a planned C-section. The plaintiff patient had a long-term history of Crohn’s disease, with significant perianal involvement. On February 11, 2013, the patient complained to the defendant obstetrician about a hemorrhoid, with itching and bleeding with scratching. The defendant obstetrician was concerned with the Crohn’s that it may be a perianal abscess. An immediate referral was made that day to the co-defendant general surgeon, who saw the plaintiff and stated the finding was a thrombosed hemorrhoid, and recommended creams, and to return if it persisted, and if it did not improve post-delivery it would be surgically removed. That information was given to the defendant obstetrician the same day by the co-defendant general surgeon.

The patient continued prenatal care with the defendant obstetrician, and was admitted to the hospital for food poisoning from March 13, through March 14, 2013, and made no perianal complaints. She saw her GI specialist at a University setting in Chicago in April of 2013, and made no complaints of the area, and the GI specialist stated it was likely inflamed skin tags and to wait until after delivery for vascularity and swelling of pregnancy to subside, without examining the patient. That information was sent to the defendant obstetrician. She delivered in April, and was seen in follow-up, and the obstetrician was aware plaintiff was going to see the general surgeon and GI specialist in July. Plaintiff had a biopsy August 6, 2013, that was inconclusive at the University, and subsequently on August 22, 2013, a GI surgeon did a biopsy and diagnosed rectal adenocarcinoma. The plaintiff was treated with chemotherapy and radiation to the perianal area, then surgery to remove the rectum and perform a permanent ileostomy, and then additional chemotherapy. Treating oncologists stated that the patient was cured at five years post the treatment, which coincided with the time of trial. Past and future medical and lost wages totaled $670,000. Plaintiff asked the jury to award $14.7 million, and the verdict was for $1.7 million against both defendant physicians and the corporations for the doctors. The demand was $3 million, the insurance coverage for both defendant physicians and their corporations.