New England Verdicts
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Plaintiff: Kidney failure due to contraindicated contrast dye
Suffolk County, Superior Court
other-dialysis; urological-kidney failure
Medical Malpractice – Nurse, Radiologist
David Marr and Patricia Marr v. Janet Kunsman, NP, Sachin Saboo, M.D., Irene Ghobrial, M.D., Jyothi Jagannathan, M.D., Nikhil Ramaiya, M.D. and Eavan Thornton, M.D.,
February 23, 2018
David Marr (Male, 70 Years),
Robert M. Higgins;
Lubin & Meyer, P.C.;
David Marr, Patricia Marr ■ Julie Ann Gielowski;
Lubin & Meyer, P.C.;
David Marr, Patricia Marr
None reported; for
Eavan Thornton, Nikhil Ramaiya ■ James L. Wilkinson;
Murray, Kelly & Bertrand, P.C.;
Sachin Saboo, Janet Kunsman, Irene Ghobrial, Jyothi Jagannathan
On Aug. 24, 2010, plaintiff’s decedent David Marr, 70, a retiree, presented to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston for a scheduled chemotherapy infusion for his underlying cancer. The normal routine during his visits was for a blood draw to determine his level of creatinine, followed by a CT scan, then chemotherapy. On this particular day, his level of creatinine was ultimately shown to be elevated. However, before the laboratory results were revealed to his nurse practitioner, Janet Kunsman and the radiologist, Sachin Saboo, M.D., Kunsman ordered a CT scan with contrast. Immediately after the CT with contract, medical personnel realized Marr’s creatinine level was elevated. Marr was later diagnosed with kidney failure and required dialysis three to four times per week for three years until his death from the underlying cancer three years later. David Marr, who was still alive when the lawsuit was filed, sued Kunsman and Saboo, as well as Irene Ghobrial, M.D., Marr’s internist, and Dana Farber radiologists Jyothi Jagannathan, M.D., Nikhil Ramaiya, M.D. and Eavan Thornton, M.D. The lawsuit alleged medical malpractice. Following Marr’s death, his wife, Patricia Marr, as personal representative of David Marr’s estate, was substituted as the plaintiff. Ghobrial, Jagannathan, Ramaiya and Thornton were dismissed prior to trial. The case proceeded against Kunsman and Saboo only. The estate argued that the contrast dye was contraindicated with an elevated creatinine level and that administration of the contrast dye while the creatinine level was elevated put Marr into complete kidney failure. The estate alleged that Kunsman violated the standard of care when she ordered the CT scan without waiting for the laboratory results and that Saboo failed to check the lab results to see if it was safe to run the CT scan. Had they waited for results, the estate argued, the CT scan would not have been performed and Marr would not have had to endure three years of kidney dialysis. At trial, the defense contended there was no evidence that the dye contrast material ultimately caused Marr’s kidney failure. Also, the defense asserted there was no reason for Kunsman and Saboo to believe that Marr’s creatinine level would be elevated on the day in question, as it had not been elevated at any other infusion and, therefore, there was no need to wait for laboratory results based on Marr’s history.
Marr suffered complete kidney failure following the infusion of dye contrast for a CT scan. He required dialysis three to four times per week for the remaining three years of his life. Marr’s estate sought damages for pain and suffering for three years, as well as loss of consortium for the same period for Patricia Marr, decedent’s spouse and personal representative. The defense did not dispute that Marr required kidney dialysis for three years, but argued that this was not due to anything Kunsman or Saboo did or failed to do.
The jury awarded damages of $1,383,635 the estate and $400,000 to Patricia Marr for loss of consortium, for a total of $1,783,635. The verdict was against both Kunsman and Saboo.
David Marr: $1,200,000 Personal Injury: Past Pain And Suffering; $183,635 Personal Injury: compensatory damages; Patricia Marr: $400,000 Personal Injury: Past Loss Of Consortium
Douglas H. Wilkins
The defendants had filed an appeal but withdrew the appeal and paid the judgment, plus costs and interest.
This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiffs’ counsel. Defense counsel did not respond to a request for comment.