Heyl Royster



Pomatto and Brady Successfully Defend Surgeon in Death Case


On November 3, Doug Pomatto and Jana Brady completed a jury trial in Winnebago County in which they successfully defended a surgeon in a medical malpractice case involving a 35-year old decedent who had been initially evaluated at an immediate care clinic for complaints of left lower extremity swelling and discomfort. A report from a Doppler ultrasound that was performed at a local hospital the same day stated that the patient’s lower extremity appeared normal. The next day, the final report that was faxed to the immediate care physician by the interpreting surgeon stated that, although there was no evidence of deep vein thrombosis (“DVT”), the study showed slow blood flow and diminished respiratory phasicity in two of the deep veins in her left leg. The immediate care physician, who was not working on the day the final report was faxed to her, instructed the patient the following day to follow up with a vascular surgeon. That afternoon, however, the patient passed away as a result of pulmonary artery thromboemboli. In the lawsuit brought by the decedent’s estate, the plaintiff alleged that the three separate defendants – the sonographer/hospital, the immediate care physician, and our client – the surgeon who interpreted the ultrasound – failed to appreciate and properly communicate the results of the lower extremity ultrasound. At the end of a 10-day trial, the plaintiff’s attorney asked the jury for $6 million, and the jury returned a defense verdict for all defendants.