$6.6 Million Jury Verdict for Failure to Diagnose and Treat Vein Clot

Kara Nguyen experienced pain after undergoing a splenectomy, which is the surgical removal of the spleen. She was 23 years old at the time. Her surgeon, Dr. Jorge Leiva, ordered a CT scan. Dr. Andre Arash Lighvani, a radiologist, interpreted the scan as normal.

She was discharged from the hospital and followed up with Dr. Leiva. About a week later, she was readmitted to the hospital suffering from fever and abdominal pain.

After a second CT scan was completed, Dr. Leiva and another general surgeon, Dr. Ziad Amr, diagnosed a blood clot in her portal vein, which was allegedly apparent on both CT scans. Dr. Amr discharged her five days later without a treatment plan for the vein clot.

Several days later, Nguyen returned to the hospital and was treated unsuccessfully with anticoagulants, which failed to dissolve the vein clot.

She now lives with the vein clot and must undergo periodic procedures to drain excess fluid from her abdomen and lungs. Her condition also causes her to suffer from digestive problems and has complicated her plans to have children.

Nguyen sued her treating hematologist, Dr. Anna Belcheva, who allegedly failed to order that the anticoagulant therapy be started right away. She also sued Dr. Lighvani, Dr. Leiva and Dr. Amr alleging that they chose not to timely diagnose and treat the portal vein clot.

The defendants argued that she declined prophylactic anticoagulants during her second hospitalization.

After a jury trial, the panel signed a verdict for $6.6 million apportioning liability at 40% to Dr. Belcheva, 30% to Dr. Lighvani, 20% to Dr. Amr and 10% to Nguyen.

The attorneys successfully handling this complicated case were Russell S. Briggs and Gregory Fibich.

At trial, her attorneys presented experts in general surgery, life care planning, hematology and radiology. The defendants presented a hematology expert.

Nguyen v. AMR, No. 2014-17076 (Tex. Dist. Ct. Harris County).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling misdiagnosis of medical condition lawsuits, medical malpractice lawsuits, physician negligence lawsuits, labor and delivery negligence lawsuits, birth trauma injury cases and nursing home abuse lawsuits for individuals, families and loved ones who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of a medical provider for more than 40 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Oak Forest, Harvey, Alsip, Chicago Ridge, Oak Lawn, Oak Park, Evergreen Park, Justice, Hickory Hills, Palos Hills, Niles, Lake Forest, Lockport, Lincolnshire, Des Plaines, Cicero, Chicago (South Shore, UIC, Rogers Park, Sauganash, Pill Hill, Pilsen, Princeton Park, Printer’s Row, Garfield Park, Edison Park, North Lawndale, Belmont Gardens, Lithuanian Plaza, Lincoln Square, Lakeview, Koreatown, East Garfield Park), Burbank, Round Lake Beach, Western Springs, Norwood Park and Morton Grove, Ill.

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