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Jose Vigo v. New York Hospital and Richard Fraser; New York Supreme Court

JUDGE: Donna M. Mills

ATTORNEYS: . DANIEL C. MINC, of the Law Firm of Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff and Wolff, LLP., for the plaintiff. George Van Setter, Martin, Clearwater & Bell, for Defense.

FACTS: Jose Vigo, a 49-year-old man on disability because of epilepsy, underwent neuro- surgery for the removal of a benign temporal lobe tumor of moderate size. During surgery, Mr. Vigo suffered a stroke because of obstruction of the anterior choroidal artery that runs near the temporal lobe. The obstruction of the blood supply damaged extensive areas of the brain, leaving paralysis of the left arm and leg and visual impairment.

Mr. Vigo claimed that Dr. Fraser negligently cauterized the artery while removing the tumor from the temporal lobe. The defense contended that only a minor branch of the artery was cauterized, which caused a clot formation to ultimately obstruct the main artery. The defense further contended that this was always an accepted risk in this type of surgery. The jury found that Dr. Fraser deviated from accepted practice by injuring the artery rather than a branch of it and that such an action was not an accepted risk of the procedure.