Ralph Vincent Morales Wins a Defense Verdict

On November 22, 2021, Ralph Morales secured a unanimous defense verdict in a trial venued in Suffolk County Supreme Court before the Honorable Joseph Santorelli that involved claims of medical malpractice against an obstetrician-gynecologist.

Plaintiff claimed that the defendant doctor negligently performed a laparoscopic assisted vaginal hysterectomy upon the then-fifty-year-old plaintiff at Southside Hospital by failing to recognize post-operative symptoms that plaintiff claimed were consistent with a cystotomy to the plaintiff’s bladder, and that he departed from the standard of care when he opted against performing a post-operative cystoscopy to rule out a bladder injury. The alleged negligence led to the formation of a vesicovaginal fistula that caused the plaintiff to experience post-operative vaginal leakage of urine.  Plaintiff further claimed that the defendant doctor’s subsequent surgery to repair the vesicovaginal fistula – a Latzko procedure – was negligently performed in that it failed to resolve the fistula. Plaintiff also claimed that the defendant doctor failed to secure the plaintiff’s consent for this attempted surgical repair.

Mr. Morales successfully established vis-à-vis his cross examination of plaintiff’s urogynecology expert that her purported standard of care was wholly inconsistent with the guidelines espoused by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists at the time of the defendant doctor’s surgery, or at any time before or after said surgery.  He also effectively used one of the plaintiff’s expert’s peer-reviewed publications that explored the percentage of surgical complications that arose in a cohort of women like the plaintiff to highlight the fact that the development of a vesicovaginal fistula after a laparoscopic assisted vaginal hysterectomy can occur in the absence of negligence.

Finally, Mr. Morales successfully defeated the claimed departure that the defendant doctor failed to secure the plaintiff’s consent to undergo the Latzko procedure by arguing during summation that opposing counsel offered no evidence that a reasonable person in the plaintiff’s position would have opted against the Latzko procedure and chosen a more invasive surgical approach to repair the vesicovaginal fistula.