Senior Trial Partner, Bruce G. Habian, obtained a defense verdict in Supreme Court, New York County. After a laparoscopic removal of a presumed inflamed appendix – per CT scan and clinical exam – pathology reported an extremely rare appendix cancer. The specimen contained liquid cellular mucin that eventually causes bowel and organ strangulation. Plaintiff, a 38-year-old nurse, claimed that the operating general surgeon caused the mucin to spill into the peritoneal cavity during laparoscopic removal; plaintiff also claimed that the surgeon failed to refer the patient to a surgical oncologist for future assessments.
The defense maintained that the appendix was removed with a contained bag device (EndoCatch), and that the post-op care advised (3-month CT scan and potential surveillance surgery) was the result of the surgeon consulting with his department colleagues. The plaintiff also claimed the post-op CT was misread; she underwent extensive cytoreduction surgery wherein many organs were removed and surgically stripped of surface tumors, together with HIPEC, heated chemotherapy. This controversial surgery left her with a frozen abdomen, and mass adhesions requiring multiple operations as well as kidney stents. She proceeded to have over 30 required hospital treatments per year for her condition.