Garcia v. Chen, M.D. (Plaintiff's Verdict - Total Award: $132,000)In April, 2012, A Yolo County Jury returned a medical malpractice verdict on behalf of Moises Garcia against Yolo County General Surgeon, Emery Chen, M.D.

Steven L. Brown and Douglas A. Gessell, of the Law Offices of Brown & Gessell, represented Mr. Garcia. The verdict exceded the last settlement demand made by plaintiff, and the defendant paid additional costs as a result. The October 22, 2009 laparoscopic cholecystectomy (gallbladder) surgery was performed by defendant, Dr. Emery Chen, at Woodland Memorial Hospital. In the course of the surgery, Dr. Chen negligently placed four surgical clips across the common hepatic duct, which connects the liver to the common bile duct and eventually conveys bile into the intestines to digest food. He claimed that he was placing the clips to maintain bleeding from the posterior branch of the cystic artery. We were able to establish by his own expert that he must have fired the clips blindly into an “oozing mass” of tissue and never confirmed where he placed the clips or on what structures he had clipped. Dr. Barry Gardiner, plaintiff’s expert, was able to convince the jury that Dr. Chen’s actions fell below the standard of care. Dr. Lawrence Way, defendant’s expert, admitted under cross-examination based on his own text book, that Dr. Chen violated the standard of care.

The jury also awarded all medical costs and wage loss in addition to non-ecnomic damages. Usually in medical malpractice, medical costs are not awarded, but in this case the medical costs were paid by a qualified, ERISA, self-funded plan and were, therefore, permitted. Dr. Chen refused to consent to settle this case. Thomas Doyle represented Dr. Chen.