Jackson County, Missouri – A jury in Jackson County has awarded nearly $4 million in damages to the husband of a woman who underwent an above-the-knee amputation after receiving treatment for sepsis and an infected pseudoaneurysm at Saint Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City. However, due to the state cap on non-economic damages, the widower will only receive a fraction of that amount. The lawsuit was filed by Jered Hicks against Metro Emergency Physicians and two physicians in 2017 after his wife underwent an arteriogram through the right femoral artery in her groin. The suit claimed that the physicians failed to properly detect the false aneurysm, leading to the need for amputation.
According to Stephen Gorny, the attorney representing Hicks, the emergency room physicians did not consider the possibility of a pseudoaneurysm developing as a result of the arteriogram. The patient, Shelley Deatley-Hicks, subsequently passed away in 2021 at the age of 40 from unrelated causes.
The jury found that Hicks was entitled to $461,799.14 in past economic damages. In addition, they awarded $3.5 million in non-economic and loss of consortium damages. However, Missouri’s cap on non-economic damages reduced that portion of the verdict to just $457,749. The total monetary award amounted to $926,249.85.
The breakdown of the total value of the verdict included $461,799.14 in past economic damages, $2.2 million in non-economic damages, and $1.3 million for loss of consortium. The allocation of fault assigned 30 percent to Kathryn Miner and Metro Emergency Physicians, and 70 percent to Shawn Cox and Metro Emergency Physicians.
The case was heard in the Jackson County Circuit Court at Independence, with Judge Kenneth Garrett III presiding. Expert witnesses for the plaintiff included Dr. Robert Vogelzang from Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago (interventional radiology) and Dr. Hiren Shah, also from Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago (internal medicine). The defendants’ experts were Dr. Brian Funaki from the University of Chicago Medical Center (interventional radiology), Dr. Jeffrey Cameron from Kansas City (vascular surgery), and Dr. Leland Robinson from Kansas City (emergency medicine).
The insurer in the case was Norcal Mutual. The plaintiff was represented by attorneys Stephen Gorny and Thomas Koelling, both based in Kansas City. The defendants were represented by Brent Wright from Horn Aylward & Bandy, also in Kansas City.
In summary, a jury in Jackson County, Missouri, has awarded nearly $4 million in damages to the husband of a woman who underwent an above-the-knee amputation resulting from alleged medical negligence. However, due to the state’s cap on non-economic damages, the final amount awarded will be significantly less. The case involved allegations of failure to properly detect and treat a false aneurysm, which ultimately led to the need for amputation.