A jury has awarded $1 million to a Las Cruces man who alleged a surgeon was negligent in repairing a colon perforation after a colonoscopy.
General surgeon Dr. David Friedman operated on Michael Salopek in February 2005, to repair a tiny perforation he had sustained during a colonoscopy, Las Cruces attorney Marci Beyer said.
However, Friedman did not find the perforation, which continued to leak into Salopek's abdominal area for 11 days. Medical expenses just to find the perforation totaled $165,000, Beyer said.
The six-day medical malpractice trial, in 3rd Judicial District Court Judge Jerald A. Valentine's courtroom, went to the jury, which deliberated for 12 hours Tuesday before returning with its verdict.
Defense attorney Thomas Sandenaw Jr. of Las Cruces said it would be inappropriate to comment before a final judgment had been entered by the judge. That should happen next week, Beyer said.
Friedman testified that since he couldn't initially find the perforation, he assumed it had sealed itself, Beyer said.
"We don't think he took responsibility because he would not admit he did anything wrong. He thought it was a legitimate assumption," Beyer said. "We argued that that was not the standard of care and the jury agreed with us.
"There were procedures he could have used to locate the perforation and he did not use those until (Salopek) went back in 11 days later,"
The law firm of Gray and White Law represents victims of medical malpractice. If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a medication error or other medical negligence, please contact the experienced legal team at Gray and White Law for a free consultation. For more information, see our online library.