Saginaw malpractice verdict upheld on appealPearl Bunzow died, apparently while under the care of cardiologist K.K. Ravidran of Valley Cardiology in Saginaw. From the brief opinion written by the Court of Appeals, it appears that she suffered vessel damage and catastrophic bleeding during a catheterization or similar procedure and "bled out." Bunzow's Estate secured a verdict against the Defendants, premised on expert testimony establishing that the standard of care required the Defendants to be prepared for this potential and to respond, within several minutes, by initiating a balloon procedure that is successful 95% of the time.
On appeal, the Defendants' insurer argued that the verdict should be over-turned because it was based on "speculation" and because the Plaintiff did not prove that Dr. Ravidran was capable of performing the procedure. The attorneys also argued that it was not reasonable for Ravidran to initiate the procedure, given that it can be fatal.
The Court of Appeals made "short work" of the defense arguments, pointing out that the arguments were not supported by the record. It noted that Ravidran had testified that he is capable of performing the procedure and also had confirmed that he had interventional radiologists immediately available if he had deemed the procedure necessary. Furthermore, the jury heard defense testimony confirming that the supplies necessary to the balloon procedure should have been present in the procedural suite. Lastly, it pointed to the irony of arguing that the rescue procedure "could be fatal" as an excuse for not performing it, when failing to perform the procedure resulted in the patient's death with "no chance of survival."