December 2010 L&G Law Group partners Pam Gellen and Scott Wolfe successfully defended a University hospital and its doctors in an alleged wrongful death case. The suit was brought on behalf of a 29 year old mother of 4 who died from a pulmonary embolus just minutes after delivering twins. The plaintiff claimed the woman was at high risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolus (PE) in the latter part of her pregnancy and should have been provided with DVT prophylaxis. An expert for the plaintiff testified that DVT prophylaxis would have prevented a DVT and would have prevented the PE and death. The defense argued that the patient was not considered high risk and the options for DVT prophylaxis were either ineffective (TED hose or sequential compression boots) or carried an unacceptable risk of bleeding (prophylactic anticoagulation). The jury apparently believed the defense argument that the doctors didn’t have a crystal ball and without knowing the outcome, the doctors could legitimately conclude that the risk of anticoagulation outweighed the risk of DVT and PE without anticoagulation.

The plaintiff asked the jury to award over $13million. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendants.