Can an Expert Contradict Himself When Testifying?

During a prolonged surgery, a plaintiff suffered an injury that left him with nerve damage and limited use of his right hand. He files suit against the surgeon, the anesthesiologist, the surgical nurse, and the surgeon’s practice for medical malpractice.

Plaintiff underwent a surgical procedure known as a robotic‑assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy (“RALP”) performed by Dr. A and proctored by a more experienced surgeon. Dr. A was still training on the robotic equipment used in Plaintiff’s procedure.

The RALP procedure required Plaintiff to be positioned in the lithotomy in a steep Trendelenburg position, with his left and right arms tucked to his side (the “LST position”). In this position, a patient is placed on his back with his or her legs up in the air and spread away from the body and with the hips flexed. In a steep Trendelenburg position, the patient’s head is positioned below his pelvis at an angle greater than 30 degrees.

The surgery conducted by Dr. A lasted 9½ hours. At no time during the surgery did the surgeons reposition Plaintiff, and his body remained in the same position throughout the entire procedure.

Immediately after surgery, Plaintiff was diagnosed with compartment syndrome in his right arm and underwent surgery to relieve the pressure causing the condition. Following surgery, Plaintiff never regained complete use of his right arm and hand.

Plaintiff alleged that Dr. A committed medical malpractice by failing to position the Plaintiff properly at the outset of surgery and then failing to reposition him during the surgery. Plaintiff alleged the surgeon’s negligence was the cause of his injuries.

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