The Louisiana Supreme Court has ordered a new trial in a medical negligence case against general surgeon Dr. Donald Schwab. Richard and Carrie Logan are seeking damages after Mr. Logan’s gallbladder removal surgery in 2010. The plaintiffs allege that during the procedure Dr. Schwab cut the wrong connecting tissue between Logan’s gallbladder and liver, damaging the liver. The Louisiana Supreme Court has ruled in the couple’s favor after more than two years of appeals.
ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE COURT OF APPEAL,
FIRST CIRCUIT, PARISH OF TERREBONNE
It is well settled that a new trial should be ordered when the court is convinced by an examination of the facts that the judgment would result in a miscarriage of justice. Lamb v. Lamb, 430 So. 2d 51, 53 (La. 1983). Having reviewed the record and considering the briefs and oral argument of the parties, we are convinced that the trial judge’s actions resulted in a miscarriage of justice. Therefore, considering the unique and narrow facts presented, we conclude a new trial must be granted.
General surgery expert witnesses join the legal team when a surgical complication results in litigation. They may opine on a wide range of medical procedures including bariatric surgery, colon surgery, breast surgery, endocrine surgery, gastroenterological surgery, and more. Complications specific to gallbladder surgery may include internal bleeding, infection of the incision, and injury to the bowel, bile duct, small intestine, or liver by one of the instruments used during surgery. In this type of litigation, the general surgery expert witness is crucial in helping the court decide whether the medical standard of care was breached.