Cicatello v. Walton (Las Vegas, Nevada)
Dr. Charles Walton inadvertently perforated 15-year old Amanda Cicatello's aorta while performing a routine laparoscopic appendectomy. Cicatello survived the surgery, and asserted a medical malpractice claim to recover damages for the harm resulting from the procedure to repair the aorta.
Peter Wetherall (White & Wetherall) asserted that Dr. Walton deviated from the standard of care by (1) using a non-standard procedure for conducting the appendectomy, (2) failing to use a camera view at the time of the insertion that caused the aortic injury, and (3) failing to maintain reasonable control over the instrument that he was using.
Drew Cass (Lewis Brisbois) told the jury that tearing of a blood vessel was a recognized risk of a laparoscopic appendectomy, and that when Dr. Walton discovered the tear that occurred during placement of a bladed trocar, he promptly and competently repaired it.
By a vote of 6-2, the jury found that the plaintiff failed to prove by a preponderance of evidence that Dr. Walton breached the standard of care.