Power Rogers & Smith Attorneys Secure $4.6 Million Jury Verdict

Posted By Power Rogers & Smith, L.L.P. || Mar 28, 2018

Power Rogers & Smith, L.L.P. attorneys Larry Rogers, Jr. and Kathryn Conway recently secured a $4.6 million jury verdict on behalf of their client, a 74-year-old woman who suffered a stroke while undergoing surgery.

Janice McKinney sued the team of anesthesiologists involved in her surgery to remove a massive goiter and Advocate North Side Health Network, claiming that the anesthetic technique they used caused her to have a stroke.

McKinney was scheduled for a thyroidectomy procedure on July 12, 2013. Mohamed Ramez Salem, her anesthesiologist, used a technique called “deliberate hypotension”, which depresses a patient’s blood pressure down below its normal range.

McKinney awoke from the procedure unable to move the left side of her body. Fortunately, her paralysis was temporary and progressed to left-sided weakness later that evening. It was later determined that McKinney suffered a middle cerebral artery stroke. While all parties agreed that the stroke occurred at some point during the operation, Defendants contended that McKinney’s stroke was a result of atherosclerotic plaque becoming dislodged from the carotid artery due to the manipulation required to remove the massive goiter. Plaintiff maintained that the cause of the stroke was low perfusion to McKinney’s brain due to the unnecessary anesthetic technique utilized by Salem and his team.

In his opening statement and closing argument, Rogers argued that the technique Salem used was not appropriate for McKinney given her age and history of diabetes and chronic high blood pressure. The defense insisted that deliberate hypotension was acceptable to use on McKinney and that the professional literature does not establish any causal connection between deliberate hypotension and stroke due to hypoperfusion. The defense also characterized Salem as an international authority on the topic of deliberate hypotension, highlighting a book and other professional publications he had authored on the subject.

“Salem was called as the first witness in our case in chief and was re-called by Defendants at the end of the trial,” said Conway. “During both examinations, Larry Rogers, Jr. elicited numerous admissions from Salem that he and his team violated the standard of care, including that they failed to inform McKinney about the anesthetic technique they intended to use on her.”

Jurors hearing that case of Janice McKinney v. Advocate North Side Health Network, et al. ultimately found that Advocate North Side Health Network was liable for McKinney’s injuries through the negligent acts of Salem, and fellow anesthesiologist Ahmad Mohammadzadeh. “We are thankful that the jurors were able to see through the conflicting medical opinions presented during the course of the trial and arrive at such a just result,” said Rogers, Jr.

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