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$2.5 million verdict: A hospital was found liable for the piercing of a
lung which occurred during an outpatient liver biopsy procedure.

Plaintiff's family brings this action on behalf of Mrs. Seleman was a 63-year-old woman who underwent a successful liver transplant on October 16, 1996. She had been in good health since the transplant. On May 4,1998, Mrs. Seleman went to Defendant Cleveland Clinic Foundation (“CCF”) for an outpatient liver biopsy. Prior to this date, she had had several biopsies performed by physicians in the radiology department under ultrasound guidance without any complications. Instead of having the May 4, 1998, liver biopsy performed in radiology as had been done previously, the CCF sent Mrs. Seleman to the gastroenterology laboratory, where an inexperienced resident, without training in ultrasonography, was permitted to perform her biopsy.

The resident, Dr. Bauer, inserted a large needle into Mrs. Selemen's side multiple times.

Rather than properly inserting the biopsy needle into the liver capsule, Dr. Bauer put it through

Mrs. Seleman's diaphragm and into her lung. Immediately following Dr. Bauer's last insertion

of the needle, Mrs. Seleman became short of breath and died as a result of being stabbed in the

lung. Mrs. Seleman is survived by her husband, ten (10) children and twenty-five (25)


Plaintiff witnesses: Dr. John F. Burke, Jr., Dr. Stephen Steady and Dr. Joseph Awad

Plaintiff attorneys: Charles Kampinski, Laurel A. Matthews




Aug 29, 2002


Medical Malpractice

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