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SBH Attorneys Patrick O'Connor and Caroline Kernan Successfully Defend Local Plastic Surgeon

Updated: 3 days ago

SBH partner Patrick O’Connor and associate Caroline Kernan successfully defended a local plastic surgeon at trial for his treatment of a forty-one-year-old woman who underwent an abdominoplasty, flankoplasty, and liposuction.    Plaintiff claimed that due to her morbid obesity (BMI of 48), she was not a candidate for the surgery performed because there was too high a risk for intra or postoperative complications and the surgery was unlikely to yield any significant cosmetic improvement.  Plaintiff argued the surgeon should have refused to perform the surgery or had the patient lose weight before electing to perform the surgery.  Postoperatively, the plaintiff developed skin necrosis, infection, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and pulmonary embolism (PE), which resulted in an extended hospitalization, prolonged healing issues, and a debilitating scar.  The defense conceded the plaintiff was not necessarily an ideal or good candidate, and that she likely would have obtained a better cosmetic result if she lost weight prior to surgery.  The defense argued that although the plaintiff was a less than ideal candidate, she was still a candidate for the surgery because she did not want to lose weight and she had realistic goals regarding the cosmetic outcome.  Plaintiff asked the jury to award in excess of $5 million.  After approximately 1 hour of deliberations, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the physician. The case was tried in Cook County Circuit Court before The Honorable Judge Maura Slattery-Boyle.

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