The New Jersey Law Journal reported today that Peter Chamas and Robert Adinolfi settled a Middlesex County medical malpractice case for $9.38 million for a teenager who sustained a brain injury after having knee surgery while under general anesthesia.
The settlement resolves the plaintiff’s claims against an anesthesiologist, who on December 2014 was responsible for the young plaintiff after the surgery.
The orthopedic surgeon left the operating room after the knee surgery was complete. Moments later, the patient’s heart rate and oxygen levels plummeted, and he went into cardiac arrest. Medical staff and the anesthesiologist, who remained in the room, performed CPR. Paramedics were summoned, and he was transferred from the surgical center to a hospital.
When the patient was discharged, he was semi-awake, non-verbal, had decorticated posture, and did not respond to commands. He was diagnosed with chronic static enchepalopathy due to a brain injury caused by the cardiac arrest.
The attorneys at Gill and Chamas argued that the anesthesiologist failed to provide the appropriate anesthesia to him, failed to recognize the emergency when his heart rate and oxygen levels dropped, and failed to recognize the reason for his falling vital signs.
The suit also alleged that the anesthesiologist improperly administered medication while trying to resuscitate the patient, and that the staff did not respond quickly enough to the emergency.
The patient, who is now 20 years old, suffers from a motor dysfunction and profuse neuorologic compromise.