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Trial Win for Edward D. Laird, Jr. in Medical Malpractice Action

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Edward D. Laird, Jr.  successfully defended his clients, an Albany-area physician and his medical practice, in a medical malpractice trial in Schenectady County Supreme Court before the Honorable Barry D. Kramer.

Mr. Laird’s clients were sued for medical malpractice by the plaintiff who claimed the defendant physician failed to obtained her informed consent prior to surgery to correct her broken nose and deviated septum causing her personal injury.  Specifically, the plaintiff claimed the defendant physician failed to advise her of the risks of infection, unsatisfactory healing, or possible worsening of her condition; ignored the plaintiff’s history of nasal trauma, smoking, and cocaine use; and performed a surgery which was contraindicated given her history. The plaintiff’s claim against the defendant medical practice was based solely upon vicarious liability of the defendant physician as an employee of the group. Plaintiff claimed that she suffered a permanent person injury as a result of the surgery in that she developed Ozena Syndrome which causes a putrid smelling sensation, crusting and nasal discharge.

The plaintiff produced an expert otolaryngologist who testified that the plaintiff was a high risk patient due to her history of smoking, cocaine abuse, and nasal trauma and, as such, was susceptible to Ozena Syndrome. The expert testified that, given such history, Ozena was a reasonably foreseeable risk and the standard of care required the defendant physician to discuss that risk with her.

Mr. Laird presented a defense to prove that the defendants provided the plaintiff proper medical care in conformance with the applicable medical standard of care; that proper informed consent was provided to the plaintiff; and, Ozena Syndrome is not a reasonably foreseeable risk of surgery due to its rarity and, as such, informed consent was not required of his client.

Mr. Laird produced an expert Ears, Nose & Throat (ENT) physician who testified that the plaintiff’s history of trauma, smoking, and cocaine abuse did not predispose her to develop Ozena Syndrome, and that Ozena is so rare that the surgical risk is not part of the standard of care for informed consent. Additionally, on cross-examination of the plaintiff, Mr. Laird elicited that the plaintiff was aware of the risks of cocaine abuse and smoking, and she confirmed that she was provided a written informed consent document regarding the surgery which she signed.  Additionally, the plaintiff’s expert ENT admitted on cross-examination to the rarity of Ozena Syndrome and retreated from his prior testimony that the plaintiff was at serious risk of Ozena. Additionally, the expert admitted that he did not examine the plaintiff’s CT scan prior to formulating his expert medical opinion and that he has not personally performed surgery in over 12 years.

At the conclusion of trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendants.

Edward D. Laird, Jr. is a senior director at Carter Conboy.  Mr. Laird has an active trial practice in the New York and Federal courts with over 50 jury trials on behalf of defendants. He represents clients in matters relating to professional malpractice, product liability, transportation, retail distribution, and logistics.  He is recognized by his peers as both a New York SuperLawyer® and Best Lawyers® in America.

Carter Conboy is a Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ peer rated full-service law firm committed to providing the highest quality legal representation to our clients.  Founded in 1920, Carter Conboy we have offices in Albany and Saratoga Springs, New York, and serve clients throughout New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New Hampshire. For additional information about the firm, visit www.carterconboy.com or contact the firm’s Director of Marketing, Stacy A. Smith, at 518-810-0516 or ssmith@carterconboy.com.