Coronary Bypass Surgery Claimed to be Unnecessary; Trial Ends with Deadlocked Jury

A Cook County jury was deadlocked after four days of deliberation in a case in which the plaintiff claimed she underwent an unnecessary coronary bypass surgery. Maryann Giannetti was 52 years old when she underwent a stress test at St. Joseph Hospital in Chicago. She claimed she was suffering “vague” chest tightness on Aug. 14, 2006. During the stress test, she experienced ventricular tachycardia, which can be potentially fatal because of the irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia. She experienced this condition while on a treadmill. A coronary angiogram was ordered.

The defendant, Dr. Uday Vyas, a cardiologist, and the defendant cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. William Bradshaw, interpreted the angiogram. They believed the angiogram showed 50% to 60% blockage of the opening of the left main coronary artery and 70% blockage of the proximal circumflex artery.

Because of the findings of blockage, the doctors ordered Giannetti to have a double coronary bypass surgery. She was never convinced that she needed the surgery and later showed the films to another cardiologist who told her there was no blockage whatsoever of any artery.

At the trial, the evidence of the testimony of the experts for Giannetti agreed. She contended in her lawsuit that the doctors’ negligence caused her to undergo needless open heart surgery, resulting in pain, suffering, and disfigurement from scars on her chest and on her ankle where a graft was done to harvest a replacement artery, emotional trauma, increased risk of future harm if surgery is needed again and about $66,000 in unnecessary medical expenses.

Dr. Vyas’ expert conceded there was no blockage of the circumflex artery, but stated at trial that the left main coronary artery was the only relevant artery in determining whether to perform bypass surgery. The expert was of the opinion that the coronary artery had more than 50% blockage, which is the threshold for bypass surgery.

Dr. Bradshaw’s expert, a cardiovascular surgeon, was of the opinion that there was blockage in both arteries. Because the jury was deadlocked, not able to come to a unanimous verdict, the case was declared a mistrial. It was reported that a week after the end of the trial, the case was voluntarily dismissed with the option of refiling it within one year from that date.

Maryann Giannetti v. Uday I. Vyas, M.D., S.C., Lincoln Park Cardiovascular & Thoracic, 09 L 12383 (Cook County, Ill.).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling medical negligence cases, hospital negligence cases and nursing home abuse cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of a medical provider for more than 38 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Crete, Crestwood, Countryside, Country Club Hills, Cicero, Chicago Ridge, Chicago Heights, Calumet City, Brookfield, Broadview, Bridgeview, Blue Island, Naperville, Berwyn, Hinsdale, Hoffman Estates, Morton Grove and Oak Lawn, Ill.

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