$500,000 Settlement for Death Following a Liver Biopsy

In this medical malpractice case, a 63-year-old woman was admitted to a local hospital for gastrointestinal complaints. She had a history of a recent craniotomy for the removal of a meningioma, and had been placed on Dilantin for seizure control. Tests as to the cause of her complaints were inconclusive, so a liver biopsy was scheduled. However, the patient was also not clotting normally and her PT/PTT values were abnormally elevated. This made undergoing a liver biopsy, which carried with it a risk of hemorrhage, contraindicated. Nevertheless, the woman’s gastroenterologist, interventional radiologist who performed the biopsy, and the procedure nurse allowed her to undergo the procedure. Following the liver biopsy, the patient bled to death . Review of the records indicated that the patient’s complaints and abnormal clotting were probably due to Dilantin toxicity, which is generally treated by discontinuing the medication. Blume Donnelly partner Michael Zerres represented the woman’s adult children, who survived and received the settlement.