Senior Trial Partner, Anthony M. Sola, with assistance from Partner Scott O. Frycek and Associate Melissa Andrieux, received a defense verdict in Supreme Court, Suffolk County. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant obstetrician – gynecologist improperly inserted a Prolift mesh sling to treat the patient’s prolapsed bladder and rectum. The allegation was that a portion of the mesh was improperly placed into the abdominal cavity. As a result, within two days of the surgery, the patient developed a small bowel obstruction requiring a 3-week hospitalization with an emergency exploratory surgery complicated by sepsis and requiring an ICU admission with mechanical ventilation. Thereafter, about 2 years later, she developed severe contractures of the mesh around the bladder neck and erosion of the mesh into the vagina requiring a major operation to release adhesions and remove portions of the mesh that had eroded into the bladder and vagina. Plaintiff subsequently developed erosion of the mesh into the rectum and parts of the intestines resulting in a massive pelvic abscess requiring another major operation, resection of a portion of the bowel, and the creation of a colostomy.
The defense was that the history obtained by subsequent surgeons that the mesh was in the abdomen was simply incorrect, and that all her problems were due to mesh erosion which is a known adverse reaction to the mesh itself, and not due to the technique employed by the defendant in insertion of the mesh sling. Notably, before plaintiff’s expert testified, Ms. Andrieux was able to locate and obtain a deposition of a case in which the plaintiff’s expert was sued for similar injuries. This was utilized on cross-examination to great effect on the issue of causation. After a two and a half week trial, the jury decided in favor of the defendant physician.