Doctor perforates patient’s lower esophagus Man, 81, dies 7 months later

The following is a case of doctor negligence.

By Mass. Lawyers Weekly Staff

An 81-year-old patient went to the defendant in August 2006 with complaints of difficulty swallowing, a problem that had been treated periodically for several years. The cause of the dysphagia was unknown.

The defendant adopted a plan to do an upper GI endoscopy and, if a stricture was found, a dilation procedure.

On Sept. 18, the physician performed the endoscopy and found no stricture. Nevertheless, the doctor attempted to dilate the upper esophagus. In doing so, the defendant perforated the lower esophagus, which caused the patient seven months of tremendous suffering before his death.

The plaintiff’s expert gastroenterologist opined that the procedure was contraindicated and negligently performed, and that the negligence caused the patient’s death.

The case settled at mediation shortly after the defendant’s deposition.