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Jury Awards Soldier, Government $2M

A soldier formerly based in Casper WV sued three Casper doctors in federal court for medical malpractice that nearly killed him.

Poche and his wife, Cynthia, also wanted Wyoming residents to know they have the right to take action in similar cases, he said. “I survived; the next guy might not.”

Poche’s attorney, Steven Shapiro, said he partly framed the case with a public perspective. “We told the jury, ‘Is this the kind of care you want in the state of Wyoming?'”

The jury in U.S. District Court in Cheyenne awarded the Poches $1.6 M in damages — after finding Dr. Raoul Joubran 60 percent negligent and Dr. Mary MacGuire 40 percent negligent. The jury did not find Dr. James Anderson negligent.

The jury also awarded the federal government $380,000 in compensation for the Bethesda (Md.) Naval Hospital, which had to repair the damages caused by Joubran and MacGuire.

The case started when Poche, stationed in Casper with the 651st Army Reserve Quartermaster Company, went to Joubran of Gastroenterology Associates for an evaluation on July 26, 2005, because of abdominal pain from a previous surgery.

Three days later, Joubran performed procedures the Poches said were unnecessary. On July 30, Poche suffered severe abdominal pain, went to the emergency room of the Wyoming Medical Center, and had a CT scan showing a perforated small intestine. Some procedures were done, but Joubran did not request a repeat CT scan and a surgical consultation until Aug. 1, according to the complaint.

That day, MacGuire performed surgery to repair the torn intestine and to stop the spread of fluid damaging his organs. That was 67 hours after the initial procedures and more than 51 hours after Poche went to the emergency room, according to the complaint.

Poche was transferred to the intensive care unit in critical condition, and was thought to be at risk for multiple organ failure. MacGuire’s surgery led to further complications, according to the complaint, but she had to turn the case over to Anderson because she was leaving for vacation.

Anderson, of Wyoming Surgical Associates, operated on Poche on Aug. 6, but he should have known the patient’s needs were beyond the expertise of himself and the hospital, the complaint states. Instead of transferring Poche to another hospital, Anderson performed five more surgeries, according to the complaint.

Because of the lack of progress, Cynthia Poche persuaded Anderson to transfer her husband to the Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland, according to the complaint.

Edward Poche, has had his stomach half-reconstructed with a special mesh, and is restricted in his movements — no bending, twisting or lifting anything over 10 pounds — so he can no longer work as a diesel mechanic.

According to the clerk of U.S. District Court, the jury awarded Edward Poche $165,000 for future medical expenses; $400,000 for future lost earnings; $50,000 for past and future household services; $375,000 for pain and suffering; $250,000 for lost of enjoyment of life; and $250,000 for disfigurement and disability.

The jury awarded Cynthia Poche $100,000 for loss of consortium — company, help and affection — with her husband.

It also awarded the federal government $380,000 to compensate for the care the military provided Edward Poche.

If you or a family member has been injured because of the fault of someone else; by negligence, personal injury, slip and fall, car accident, medical malpractice, trucking accident, drunk driving, bad product, toxic injury etc then please contact the Fort Worth Texas Medical Malpractice Attorney Dr. Shezad Malik. For a no obligation, free case analysis, please call 817-255-4001 or Contact Me Online.

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