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Common Bile Duct Injury Settlement Amounts

This page is about expected settlement payout amounts in common bile duct injury lawsuits during gallbladder surgery. Gallbladder surgery is ubiquitous in the U.S. Common bile duct injuries occur in thousands of cases every year during these procedures. Many are sold to patients as a “known risk” but are from medical malpractice.

Our gallbladder malpractice lawyers provide a sampling of verdicts and settlements in laparoscopic cholecystectomy (lap chole) and gallbladder removal cases. Our attorneys also provide our thinking on calculating settlement amounts in lap chole lawsuits.

lapcholemalpracticeverdicts

Valuing Common Bile Duck Injury Lawsuits

Reading over the facts and verdicts below may give you an idea of the potential settlement amount or jury payout for your case. That is why we have compiled these verdicts. But while we believe these cases demonstrate what we consider to be normal outcomes, each case is unique. Your case will present different circumstances that may alter your outcome.

It is also important to note that this compilation is not exhaustive, and we have excluded numerous cases – including defense verdicts. Our lawyers have lost bile duct injury cases. If you are a lawyer and have never lost a gallbladder malpractice case, you have not tried many of these cases.

These verdicts underscore that the key to common bile duct injury compensation is the extent of the damages. Thankfully, many patients recover quickly from these botched gallbladder surgery cases and do not have any permanent injuries. Malpractice lawyers struggle with these claims, trying to figure out where the bar should be in terms of how serious the injuries must be to bring a lawsuit.

Our law firm is based in Maryland, but our gallbladder injury attorneys handle these cases nationwide, working with hand-picked local attorneys in the right cases. Our lawyers have included some of these verdicts and settlements below.

Settlements and Verdicts

Our firm tries lap chole cases in Maryland and, in the right cases, outside of Maryland, as you will see below. Many malpractice firms will not take these cases because the injuries are limited. Our malpractice lawyers know how to maximize the settlement amounts of lap chole lawsuits, and we have the settlements and the verdicts to prove it.
Most of these cases involve a bile duct or other injury while removing the gallbladder.
  • Georgia, $10.1 Million Verdict (2024): During gallbladder removal surgery, the doctor accidentally transected the patient’s common bile duct. The patient was then transferred to another hospital for five days. An attempt to repair the bile duct was unsuccessful due to the patient’s liver condition, leading to a recommendation to delay further surgery. In the interim, the patient had to use a feeding tube and a bile bag, which she had to manually operate multiple times a day, leading to nausea and discomfort. She suffered from sepsis several times due to infections related to the wound and tubes. The bile duct was eventually repaired, and subsequent surgeries were conducted for hernias related to the repair. A $10 million verdict was affirmed by a Georgia appellate court.
  • Virginia, $1.275 Million Settlement (2022). A man underwent gallbladder surgery. He suffered a perforated bowel. The man developed an infection. He was hospitalized for an extended period. The man alleged negligence against the hospital. He claimed the staff failed to address an infection and negligently performed the gallbladder procedure. This case settled for $1,275,000.
  • Maryland, $500,000 (2020): This is a classic case where the doctor failed to correctly identify our client’s biliary anatomy before clipping and cutting. This was our client, and this one settled pretty quickly.
  • Oregon, $1.1 Million Settlement (2018). Our firm traveled to Oregon to work with referring counsel in Oregon to handle this lap chole case. In this case, the doctor began the operation laparoscopically but converted it to an open procedure due to the confusion after seeing adhesions. Where this gallbladder surgery went wrong was when the doctor failed to interpret an intraoperative cholangiogram correctly and failed to repeat the cholangiogram, which resulted in the transection of a very nice woman’s common bile duct.
  • Maryland, $500,000 Verdict (2018). Another great client clipped and transected his common hepatic duct during the operation, which required a subsequent Roux en Y repair operation. Most lap chole cases involve cutting the common bile duct. What was interesting in this case is that the defense claimed that the doctor did not cut the common bile duct. Thankfully, our client was a strong man who made a remarkable recovery without a permanent injury. A Baltimore County jury awarded him $500,000 for a few months of awful pain and suffering. The pretrial offer in the case was $200,000, which can often be the settlement amount for a botched lap chole lawsuit if your lawyer is unwilling to take your claim to trial.

More Lap Chole Settlement Amounts and Jury Payouts

  • Oregon, $225,000 Settlement. Our client, a twenty-year-old woman from Oregon, went in to have her gallbladder removed. During the procedure, which was performed laparoscopically, the surgeon clipped and cut our client’s common hepatic duct instead of clipping and cutting the cystic duct. The surgeon realized her mistake and attempted to repair the ducts before finishing the surgery. Unfortunately, the repair was not performed properly, and over the next few months, our client had to undergo several additional procedures and an additional surgery to correct the mistake. At her deposition, the surgeon admitted that she did not confirm our client’s anatomy before clipping and cutting what she believed was the cystic duct. She additionally admitted there were multiple ways she could have confirmed the anatomy before completing the surgery. This case settled for $225,000. This value is mainly based on the fact that the patient recovered well and had no permanent injury. Our law firm, Miller & Zois, handled this case.
  • California: $7.9 Million Verdict. An obese 24-year-old woman is admitted to the hospital to undergo an endoscopy procedure to diagnose a stomach issue. The woman had been suffering from severe stomach problems for a few months. An anesthesiologist gave the patient propofol as a sedative, as opposed to general anesthesia. Tragically, during the procedure, the patient regained consciousness. Disoriented from the sedation, she panicked and began to flail about, gasping for air. She screamed in pain for approximately 20-30 seconds before falling unconscious. The woman went into acute respiratory failure, suffered cardiac arrest twice, and died soon after the procedure. The family hired a gallbladder malpractice lawyer and filed suit against the anesthesiologist, his practice, and the hospital, alleging that the anesthesiologist was negligent during the procedure. Plaintiffs’ experts opined that the anesthesiologist failed to perform certain safety measures that could have saved the woman’s life. It was determined that given the woman’s significant weight, a general anesthetic should have been used in addition to or instead of propofol and that an endotracheal tube should have been used. The defendants argued that the care provided was appropriate, given the circumstances. The jury disagreed and awarded the family $7.9 million in damages.
  • South Carolina: $150,000 Verdict. The plaintiff experiences severe pain after laparoscopic cholecystectomy and is treated with narcotic painkillers during an overnight hospital stay. After being admitted to the emergency room, a CT scan shows fluid in the abdomen. It is discovered that the plaintiff’s bile duct and hepatic duct are lacerated. Physicians place two stents to drain the fluid, and the plaintiff undergoes repair surgery six weeks later. The plaintiff hires a lap chole lawyer and claims the surgeon botched his gallbladder surgery by cutting the common bile and hepatic ducts. The plaintiff also suffers from ongoing eating difficulties and diarrhea because of the injuries. The defendant alleges that there is no evidence of a bile duct injury from the surgery but does not offer an explanation for the injury. The defendant disputes the plaintiff’s continuing symptoms and contends that the plaintiff’s symptoms can occur after a routine cholecystectomy. Plaintiff’s medical malpractice action asks for $119,000 in past medical expenses, $6,000 in lost wages, and damages for pain and suffering. The jury awards the plaintiff $150,000, and the hospital settles for $100,000.
  • Tennessee: $175,000 Verdict. Plaintiff’s abdominal pain is linked to a gallbladder complication. The 51-year-old plaintiff successfully undergoes laparoscopic surgery. Plaintiff’s pain symptoms continue and five days later, it is discovered that the first surgery created an intestinal tear that has necrosed. Because of the five-day delay, part of the plaintiff’s intestine is removed. The error ultimately results in a fistula complication.
  • New Jersey: $430,000. Plaintiff undergoes laparoscopic gallbladder removal surgery. Plaintiff’s attending physician does not perform the surgery as the plaintiff anticipated. Instead, a second-year surgical resident performs the procedure. It is the first time the resident had performed this operation. Shortly after discharge, the plaintiff presents to the emergency room with abdominal bloating, abdominal pain, fever, and jaundice. The plaintiff is referred for exploratory surgery that reveals a cut to the bile duct. This allowed bile to flow into the abdominal cavity. This results in an acute septic condition and other complications in the 24-year-old patient.
  • California: $250,000. After more than two years of abdominal pain, a 43-year-old plaintiff undergoes a laparoscopic cholecystectomy to remove the gallbladder. The surgeon divides the common hepatic duct instead of the cystic duct during the surgery. An intraoperative cholangiogram (radiographic image of the ducts) demonstrates the error, and the surgery is converted to an open procedure. During the elongated procedure, the gallbladder is removed, and the severed common duct is repaired by end-to-end anastomosis. Plaintiff’s malpractice lawsuit claims that the doctor failed to perform an adequate dissection of the gallbladder and surrounding tissue before severing the duct tissue.
  • Ohio: $196,500. During a laparoscopic cholecystectomy surgery, the plaintiff’s common bile duct is clipped, and a portion is removed. The plaintiff, 42, undergoes additional surgery to repair the duct and an incisional hernia. In the medical malpractice lawsuit, the plaintiff alleges that the doctor failed to properly identify the cystic duct. This is an amazingly low verdict.
  • Maryland $1,106,910.75 Verdict. An absolutely fantastic 75-year-old woman presents to the hospital to undergo a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. During the procedure, the surgeon clipped and cut her common hepatic duct. Although he realizes the error, he does not seek immediate assistance to evaluate the injury. Plaintiff remains hospitalized and, four days later, undergoes a Roux–en Y reconstructive operation to reconnect the bile duct to her intestines. The plaintiff spends another 14 days in the hospital with months of follow-up care to monitor the drains that remain in her abdomen. Eventually, the drains are removed, and she returns to a relatively normal lifestyle. No substantial pretrial offer was made, so our lawyers took the case to a jury. After deliberating for one hour, the jury awards $1,106.910.75. Our law firm handled this case.
  • South Carolina: $325,259. The plaintiff suffers bowel perforation as a result of gallbladder surgery complications.
  • Michigan: $1,800,000. During a laparoscopic gallbladder removal surgery, the woman’s hepatic duct is clipped. She suffers complications following surgery. A stent is installed to fix bile leakage. Four months after surgery, she dies from sepsis as a result of a perforated cecum. Her family hires a gallbladder malpractice lawyer who sues the doctor for wrongful death, alleging that the cecum injury occurred when the doctor clipped the right hepatic duct during the gallbladder removal.
  • New Jersey: $100,000. The plaintiff, 47, undergoes gallbladder removal surgery, and during the procedure, a clamp is placed over the bile duct but is not removed. To remove the clamp, the plaintiff undergoes a second surgery that results in a large surgical scar and disfigurement.
  • New York: $1,350,000. During the plaintiff’s gallbladder surgery, a surgical pad is left in the plaintiff’s body. The plaintiff, 71, suffers from infection and abdomen abscess.
  • Florida: $600,000 verdict. A 35-year-old female plaintiff suffered a severed common bile duct and right hepatic artery while a surgeon was attempting to remove her gallbladder. The gallbladder is not removed. The plaintiff’s gallbladder is removed during a later surgery where the severed bile duct and small intestine are reconnected. An error during gallbladder surgery is a common source of medical malpractice claims, mainly because this is a common form of surgery. Most malpractice claims from gallbladder surgery occur when a surgeon does not know where the biliary ducts are on a patient and cuts where the surgeon should not be cutting.

What Is the Average Settlement Amount for a Common Bile Duct Injury Lawsuit?

gallbladder removal lawsuitDefense lawyers tend to push common bile duct injury cases towards $300,000, at least in Maryland. Our average verdict is much higher, so we typically demand settlement payout amounts far greater than $300,000. Our lawyers have gotten verdicts and settlements of over $1 million in common bile duct injury lawsuits.

Is this the value of every bile duct injury case? No. Each case is fact-specific. Our gallbladder malpractice lawyers have gotten settlements south of $300,000 and have been very happy with the result because of the unique facts of the claim. But we also believe that most gallbladder malpractice settlements should be in the $500,000 range, and many should be over $1 million.

Getting a Lawyer for Your Cut Common Bile Duct Lawsuit

Our malpractice lawyers handle cases where the bile duct is cut or damaged during surgery when serious injury is caused to the patient
. If you or a loved one suffered from complications as a result of an error or mistake during gallbladder surgery, you need help. Call our malpractice lawyers at 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation.

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