An Eau Claire County, Wisconsin jury has returned a $13,250,000 verdict against Mayo Clinic Health System – Northwest Wisconsin Regional, Inc. on behalf of a Rapoport Weisberg & Sims P.C. client who suffered a massive stroke during a cardiac ablation procedure. The verdict is the largest medical malpractice verdict ever in Eau Claire County, and the seventh largest ever in the State of Wisconsin, according to verdict research performed by the Wisconsin Association for Justice.
Our client, a 60-year-old woman, presented to Mayo Clinic in Eau Claire, Wisconsin on March 14, 2018 for a scheduled cardiac ablation procedure to treat her atrial fibrillation (A-Fib). The procedure was performed using a catheter that delivers radiofrequency energy within the heart in order to block irregular signals and restore a normal heartbeat. During the application of radiofrequency energy it is important that the catheter tip remains cool, as an overheated catheter tip can cause char or a blood clot to form within the heart. However, we alleged that during our client’s procedure, the wrong catheter setting was used, which did not properly deliver cooling fluid to prevent the catheter tip from overheating. As a result, the catheter tip became dangerously hot, eventually causing blood clots to form within the left atrium of our client’s heart which were then pumped to her brain and caused a massive stroke.
At trial, the Mayo Clinic denied they were at fault for the wrong catheter setting being used during the procedure, arguing that the manufacturer of the catheter had a representative attending who was solely responsible for ensuring the correct catheter setting was being used. The manufacturer of the catheter was also named as a defendant when trial began, and during the trial we reached a confidential settlement with them on behalf of our client. The jury ultimately found in favor of our client, finding that the manufacturer was 70% at fault for our client’s damages based on the conduct of their representative during the procedure, and that Mayo Clinic Health System was 30% at fault.
As a result of the stroke, our client suffered partial hemiplegia on the left side of her body. The defense vigorously disputed the amount of damages that would fairly and reasonably compensate her for the harm she suffered from the stroke. However, the jury found that substantial damages were appropriate in the total amount of $13,250,000, including $5,750,000 for future healthcare services, $5,000,000 for future pain, suffering, disability and disfigurement, and $2,500,000 for past pain, suffering, disability and disfigurement.
The Rapoport Weisberg & Sims, PC trial team consisted of trial attorneys David E. Rapoport, Joshua L. Weisberg, Melanie J. VanOverloop, and Zartosht Khodavandi.
Rapoport Weisberg & Sims P.C. is a personal injury law firm based in Chicago, Illinois. The personal injury attorneys at Rapoport Weisberg & Sims P.C. have achieved multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements for individuals with lawsuits arising from medical malpractice, product liability, semitruck and motor vehicle accidents, workplace injuries and construction accidents in Illinois and Wisconsin. Rapoport Weisberg & Sims P.C.’s premier aviation negligence lawyers represent victims of commercial and general aviation disasters nationwide.