Grutt v. Hospital

State of Wisconsin/Circuit Court/Rock County

In this medical negligence lawsuit, defense counsel Mark Budzinskisecured a unanimous defense verdict in favor of an anesthesiologist and hospital system.  Prior to trial they had also successfully obtained dismissal of the defendant neurosurgeon on a Motion for Summary Judgment. The plaintiff brought a claim for disfigurement as a result of facial scarring he sustained following a three-level lumbar fusion surgery.  Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that the anesthesiologist involved in the surgery was negligent for failing to properly monitor and position the plaintiff's head during the lengthy surgery, which resulted in the plaintiff developing pressure-related disfiguring scars on his face.  The defense contended that pressure injuries were not only an accepted risk factor of the surgery, but were almost inevitable given the plaintiff's medical history and risk factors for perfusion-based injuries.  In closing argument, plaintiff's counsel suggested a value of up to $600,000.  After a roughly 20 minute deliberation, the jury unanimously found no negligence on the part of the anesthesiologist and awarded $0 for the plaintiff's damages.