Medical Malpractice Case Report: $1.3 million settlement for negligently performed cardiac surgery resulting in death

January 2007

Firm partner Peter A. Schmit of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. secured a medical malpractice settlement of $1,300,000 in a medical mistakes in surgery case for the family of a 49-year-old farmer who died after negligently performed heart surgery. Read the following Minnesota Association for Justice (MAJ) Minnesota Case Report:

Selected Results*

(Excerpts taken with permission from Minnesota Trial Lawyers Association's (MTLA) "Minnesota Case Reports")

R.F. was 49 years old at the time of his death on November 7, 2002.  Mr. F. had suffered from a heart murmur since high school and over the years he developed some shortness of breath with exertion and light-headedness.  Diagnostic testing revealed left ventricular hypertrophy and aortic insufficiency.   Further testing revealed calcification with moderate aortic stenosis (The aorta is the large artery that originates in the left ventricle (lower chamber) of the heart. Aortic stenosis is the narrowing or obstruction of the heart's aortic valve, which prevents it from opening properly and blocks the flow of blood from the left ventricle to the aorta) with an ejection fraction of 65%.  Dr. B. felt Mr. F. was a good candidate for aortic valve replacement. 

The elective surgery commenced November 7, 2000.  During surgery, Dr. B. noted heavy calcification of the aortic valve after bypass.  After the valve was excised, the valve was sized and found to have been approximately 27 mm.  However, there was no aortic valve of that size available so a mitral valve was utilized.  After coming off bypass, Dr. B. noted blood flow through the valve prosthesis was poor.  The aortotomy was reopened and the valve prosthesis was not functioning since it was a mitral valve in the aortic position and needed to be turned the other way around.  The valve was removed and substituted with a smaller aortic valve.  This required a second cross clamp leading to additional insult, acute myocardial infarction and death.

Mr. F. was a successful and sophisticated farmer.  He was survived by his wife of 22 years and one adult child and one 17-year-old child.  After Mr. F’s death, the farm was sold; therefore, the boys life-long ambition to carry on the family farm was lost. 


Case Name: M. vs. Local Radiologist and Clinic
Date: Jan, 2004

Peter A. Schmit

Peter A. Schmit


Chair, National Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice Group

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