$1.12 Million Jury Verdict in Failure to Prevent Death in Pulmonary Embolism

Michael Wagner was 48 and weighed 600 pounds. He underwent gastric bypass surgery performed by general surgeon Hans Schmidt M.D. and an assistant surgeon Sabastian Eid M.D. Wagner had been taking prophylactic the blood thinner, Heparin preoperatively.

After the surgery, the dosage Wagner was receiving was reduced to once per day. During the first postoperative day, he experienced a slow heartrate and respiratory arrest. However, Wagner was discharged the next day with instructions to have 64 ounces of daily fluids and to take frequent walks. No blood thinners like Heparin were prescribed.

Two days later, Wagner suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism. He had been a financial manager earning about $140,000 annually and is survived by his wife, one minor child and one adult child.

His estate and family filed a lawsuit against Drs. Schmidt and Eid claiming that these defendants had wrongfully discharged him prematurely and chose not to prevent deep vein thrombosis.

The Wagner family claimed that in light of his condition, including his weight, the history of smoking and chronic swelling of his right leg, the physician defendants should have ordered a twice daily blood thinner at the time of Wagner’s discharge.

The lawsuit also asserted that in light of a pre-discharge Doppler study reporting limited visualization of Wagner’s femoral vein, the physician defendants should have kept Wagner in the hospital on an extended course of blood thinners until it was determined whether he had blood clots in his legs.

After the jury heard the evidence and deliberated, it entered a verdict of $1,120,000 finding that Dr. Schmidt was 55% liable while Dr. Eid was 45% liable.

This case was handled successfully by attorneys Alan Roth and Peter I. Berge.

Wagner v. Schmidt, No. HUD-L 517-13 (N.J. Super Ct. Hudson County, July 1, 2015).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling medical malpractice cases, physician negligence cases, birth injury cases and nursing home abuse cases for individuals and families who have been injured or killed by the negligence of a medical provider for more than 38 years, in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas including, Bannockburn, Mundelein, Lockport, Lemont, Niles, Oak Park, Western Springs, Westchester, Hinsdale, Wheaton, Geneva, Fox River Grove, Stickney, South Barrington, Riverdale, Hickory Hills, Hillside, Lansing and Mount Prospect, Ill.

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