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Satterwhite v. Dr. Sekela

A 2008 jury verdict in excess of $9.8 million in Satterwhite v. Dr. Sekela which is more than 5 times the amount of any prior medical malpractice verdict in the history of Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky and one of the top 10 largest medical malpractice verdicts in the state. The $3,050,000 judgment (i.e., amount judge ordered to be paid) entered against Dr. Sekela and his group is nearly twice the size of the previously reported largest Lexington medical malpractice verdict (i.e., amount jury awards in damages) where on two prior occasions juries had valued a medical malpractice victim’s damages at $1.7 million. The jury assessed 31% of the fault against the heart surgeon, Dr. Sekela, resulting in the $3,050,000 judgment to be collected (i.e., $9.8 million x 31%). The remaining 69% of the fault was apportioned to the anesthesiologist and perfusionist who elected to settle for confidential amounts prior to trial. Immediately after closing arguments Dr. Sekela approached Ms. Satterwhite and apologized.

Below is a narrative of the jury trial, the verdict, the judgment, and a sampling of the trial exhibits that were crafted to simplify the evidence for the jury. Below that are links to various internet reports of this result.