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Patient v. OBGYN Practitioner

Ryan Deane represented a OBGYN practitioner in a medical malpractice case involving transection of illiohypogastric nerve during performance of a cesarean section delivery. The patient underwent subsequent surgical repair of the transected nerve, however, the patient continued with severe and debilitating pain and was ultimately diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome. The patient continued to treat at a full service rehabilitation center for her injuries and was declared permanently disabled from returning to work. The patient was a young female in her 30s and sought pain and suffering damages, past and future medical expense damages and past and future earnings damages. All parties agreed that the patient suffered an actual injury to her nerve during the performance of the C-section, although the extent of injury was disputed as was adherence to the standard of care. Plaintiff initially provided damages estimates in excess of $1 million.

Plaintiff initially offered as an expert a board certified OBGYN and former Chief of Obstetrics at UCSF. During deposition and due to forceful, creative and direct questioning, Ryan Deane was able to force the expert to concede that the practitioner complied with the standard of care in not only the performance of a C-section but in the postpartum follow up care and treatment of the patient. Plaintiff then took a second bite at the apple and designated a board certified OBGYN physician who was a Clinical Associate Professor of Obstetrics at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. During the deposition of this expert and again through creative and direct questioning, Mr. Deane was able to force the expert to concede that the practitioner complied with the standard of care in not only the performance of a C-section but in the postpartum follow up care and treatment of the patient. At the culmination of questioning of the expert, Mr. Deane had the following exchange with the expert:

Q: I can make this even easier.· You’ve already testified that at each visit you have no criticisms of the care provided?
A: That’s true.

Q: So you’ve already testified that you can’t tell me to any reasonable degree of medical probability to what extent she was explained anything about nerve entrapment, true?
A: That’s true.

Q: So how in the world can you have an opinion that anybody from Dr. Lee’s office, including Dr. Lee, breached the standard of care in this case?
A: I can’t.

Q: So you don’t, correct?
A: (Witness nods head.)

Q: Is that correct?
A: Yes.

Plaintiff then filed a Motion to Amend the Expert Witness Designation list given the testimony of the two previous standard of care experts. Mr. Deane fought vigorously to oppose the Motion and the Motion was ultimately denied. Mr. Deane and his associate Alexandra Baraff, Esq. then filed a Motion for Summary Judgment and used as support the expert testimony of Plaintiff’s own experts. The trial court found the motion persuasive and granted the Motion for Summary Judgment thereby finding as a matter of law that the practitioner complied with the standard of care. Ultimately, Judgment was entered in favor of the practitioner.