Family practice physician is not negligent in perforated appendicitis case.
Plaintiff v. Family Practice Doctor
Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri
Plaintiff claimed that defendant family practice doctor was negligent in failing to diagnose her appendicitis, leading to perforation of the appendix with peritonitis. Plaintiff was admitted to the hospital by her primary care doctor (PCP), who was represented in this lawsuit by SLS attorney Jayson Ford. The PCP ordered various tests for plaintiff and requested that a general surgeon consult. The general surgeon could not find a cause of plaintiff’s abdominal complaints. After four days in the hospital, it was discovered that plaintiff had a ruptured retrocecal appendix, which lead to a prolonged hospitalization and an extended recovery period. Plaintiff alleged that her PCP was negligent by failing to order additional radiology studies to detect the cause of her abdominal complaints. Plaintiff further alleged that the PCP’s failure to timely diagnose and treat her appendicitis lead to the perforation of the appendix. Ford established with the jury that the PCP acted appropriately and that the location of plaintiff’s appendix was very unusual. Further, Ford showed the jury that the delineation of the duties in the hospital mandated that the PCP defer this diagnosis to the general surgeon. Contrary to the voluminous damages alleged by plaintiff, Ford showed that plaintiff achieved a complete recovery.
The primary care doctor represented by Ford was awarded a defense verdict by the jury.