Summary Judgment Motion: Spontaneous Liver Rupture

by | Sep 9, 2019 | Case Results, Medical Malpractice | 0 comments

Senior Partner Kenneth R. Larywon and Associates Jason F. Kaufman and Gregory A. Cascino obtained a Motion for Summary Judgment in a case involving a then 37-year-old female who was admitted to defendant hospital on February 25, 2011, at 37+ weeks’ gestation for abdominal pain. A crash C-section was performed due to plummeting fetal heart rate. Following the successful delivery of the baby, old and new blood was discovered in the abdomen; further exploration revealed a large hematoma of the right lobe of the liver. Areas of active bleeding were cauterized and packed and the patient was transferred to the SICU. Overnight, the patient continued to deteriorate despite multiple transfusions. The following morning, a re-exploration, damage control laparotomy was performed. The initial packing was observed swimming in blood, indicating continued bleeding.  The decedent was thereafter transferred to the co-defendant facility, where she had a difficult course due to her grave condition, and ultimately expired on April 15th. 

 In the motion, MCB established our prima facie entitlement to Summary Judgment, asserting that the decedent’s catastrophic and spontaneous liver rupture occurred prior to her presentation to defendant hospital. We argued that repair of the decedent’s liver during exploration was not possible. The standard of care called for damage control of the ongoing hemorrhage and a second look laparotomy within 48-72 hours, all of which was done by defendant physicians and staff. It was further argued that the decedent was continuously and appropriately treated in the ICU. Judge Silver found that notwithstanding MCB’s prima facie showing of entitlement to summary judgment, plaintiff’s belated opinions and theories of liability, raised for the first time in their opposition, should not be considered by the Court.