A Las Vegas jury awarded $1.8 million to a man who had a 57-inch wire left in his body after surgery.
The surgical error case involved a 70-year-old man who lived for a decade with this almost 5-foot long wire in his body due to a surgical error following angioplasty. The medical malpractice suit was against a cardiologist who performed the surgery in 2005 as well as against his company, Heart Center of Nevada.
The man, German “OT” Ortiz and his wife Angela were represented by plaintiff attorney James J. Jimmerson. Ortiz is a 22-year veteran of the Air Force who received a Bronze Star for his service and has lived in Las Vegas for three decades. He is a minister and youth pastor at Cornerstone Christian Academy and Preschool and had two-thirds of the wire removed for a heart procedure. They are still more than 20 inches of wire stretching down to his thigh.
The wire was inserted when he went to University Medical Center emergency room 14 years ago while experiencing shortness of breath. Doctors found he had congestive heart failure and that Ortiz needed an angiogram where a catheter is inserted through the bloodstream to distribute a dye allowing doctors to take a picture of blood vessels. When it was removed, a guide wire remained in his body.
The doctor was represented by Patricia Daehnke who denied the doctor had any clue the wire had been left in the patient’s body and in fact did not know until the lawsuit had been filed.
Ortiz’s medical malpractice lawyer Mr. Jimmerson claimed the doctor’s arrogance lead to him denying his responsibility for the wire. Mr. Ortiz was also represented by James M. Jimmerson.