$2,500,000 settlement for untreated post-operative infection

The wife and adult daughter of a 48-year-old man who died followed surgery for invasive bladder cancer will receive a settlement of $2.5 million. The man developed a post-operative c. difficile infection, which progressed over the course of four days to toxic megacolon and then death. The development of the infection was facilitated because the attending surgeon improperly administered prophylactic antibiotics beyond 24 hours after surgery, in violation of published guidelines. Once the infection began to develop, multiple doctors failed to order a diagnostic stool test, despite clinical symptoms, CT scan findings suggestive of infectious colitis, and one physician’s stated request for stool test. The defendants claimed that this was a fulminant strain of c. difficile, which would have been fatal in any event. The case had previously been reviewed and rejected by another Boston firm.