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$9.8 Million Lexington Verdict

Satterwhite Trial

Lexington was previously known as a “dead zone” for medical malpractice victims. Bo achieved this unheard of result for his African American client utilizing state-of-the-art 3 dimensional reconstructions of his client’s aorta and branch vessels to simplify the case with pictures that showed this case was about placing a “hose (i.e., cannula) within a hose (i.e., the patient’s aorta).” He clipped 57 minutes of trial testimony into the power point presentation he tailored for use in his 2 hour closing argument. Immediately after closing arguments Dr. Sekela approached Ms. Satterwhite and apologized.

Bo retained 14 experts in total for his client. He called 3 Ivy league educators (specialists in heart surgery, cardiac anesthesia, and neurology) at trial to explain that Dr. Sekela had mistakenly misplaced, at the outset of the surgery, the hose supplying blood from the heart-lung bypass machine. The hose inadvertently delivered to much blood to the patient’s right arm, and not enough to her spinal cord and other parts of her body. Over 2 hours elapsed before Dr. Sekela finally thought to adjust the hose. Unfortunately he acted too late. An otherwise routine mitral valve repair turned into a catastrophe and left Ms. Satterwhite paralyzed from the waist down because her thoracic spinal cord did not receive adequate blood and oxygen for over 2 hours. She also suffered permanent brain injuries and temporary multi-organ failure. All told she has spent over 4 months in different hospitals attempting to recover from her injuries and retrain her for her new, unwanted, life.

Ms. Satterwhite was a single 33 year old mother of a 13 year old daughter at the time of the surgery. She now spends her life in bed or a motorized wheelchair and will require manual bowel and bladder evacuations for the remainder of her life. She is no longer the independent human being who was renting an apartment, paying for a car, and proudly raising and A-B middle school student before the medical negligence. She can no longer work and support herself and her daughter who, when necessary, must assist in evacuating her mother’s bowels. The jury awarded $482,000 for her lost wages as a hairdresser, $455,000 for past medical bills, and $4.4 million for future medical bills, which were the maximum amounts it could award under the jury instructions. The jury awarded $4.5 million for pain and suffering which, alone, is over twice the size of the previously reported largest medical malpractice jury verdict award for damages in a medical malpractice case in Lexington.

For more information on this case, and others, please visit our Verdicts & Settlements page