Posted in on June 7, 2019
Gary Pagliarello obtained a defendant’s verdict on behalf of his client, an electrophysiologist. Plaintiff commenced suit seeking recovery for alleged unnecessary placement of an implantable defibrillator, a device that is indicated for patients who have potentially dangerous heart arrhythmia and are in danger of sudden cardiac death. The 37-year-old plaintiff had experienced an unexplained syncopal episode. Her cardiologist sought the opinion of our client to assist in determining the cause for the syncope. Our client conducted testing and elicited a dangerous arrhythmia after which he recommended the placement of an implantable defibrillator. The defibrillator was implanted but was removed after the patient developed an infection. The patient has not had any further syncopal episodes in the 4 years since the defibrillator was removed.
Plaintiff claimed that our client misinterpreted test results and that there was no need for the placement of the defibrillator. Plaintiff also contended that our client did not properly close the plaintiff’s wound when he removed the defibrillator, resulting in a cosmetically disfiguring scar. Gary argued that appropriate testing was performed in view of the patient’s unexplained syncope and clinical guidelines supported the placement of a defibrillator. The jury returned a verdict in favor of our client.