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Defendant’s Verdict for Fred Johs and Judith Littman in Medical Malpractice Case

Posted: February 12, 2020

Frederick C Johs, assisted by Judith N. Littman, obtained a defense verdict on behalf of our client, a colorectal surgeon, in the Supreme Court, Suffolk County on January 21, 2020.  The plaintiff was a 71-year-old woman who underwent a colonoscopy, performed without any complications noted.  The patient, who fainted briefly in the recovery room, complained of pain under her breast prior to being discharged.  She did not tell this to the defendant but instead told the nurse at the non-party facility.  Plaintiff was contacted the following morning by the defendant as was his custom and practice and she reported complaints od nausea and pain.  She was told to go to the emergency department immediately for an evaluation.  When she arrived at the hospital hours later, she was evaluated by the defendant and a CT scan was done that revealed a grade III laceration of the spleen.  The plaintiff was monitored closely; however, she developed some bradycardia and a rapid response was called. She underwent surgery shortly thereafter and had a splenectomy.  She was subsequently transferred to another hospital where she had a temporary pacemaker placed, which was removed prior to her discharge from the hospital.  The plaintiff argued that the defendant used excessive force when performing the colonoscopy causing the laceration and failed to diagnose the laceration in a timely manner.  The plaintiff’s expert on cross-examination conceded that a lacerated spleen is a known complication that occurs rarely and can occur without the use of excessive force.  The jury returned a unanimous decision in favor of our client.