Man awarded $7.4M for botched surgery at Canton-Potsdam Hospital

Updated: Sep. 10, 2019 at 4:15 PM EDT
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CANTON, N.Y. (WWNY) - An Albany-area law firm says it has won a $7.4 million verdict for a St. Lawrence County man who sued after a botched gall bladder surgery at Canton-Potsdam Hospital.

In a news release, the firm, Martin, Harding & Mazzotti, LLP, said it won what's believed to be the largest plaintiff verdict in St. Lawrence County history and one of the largest verdicts nationwide, if not the largest, in a gall bladder removal case.

The verdict came in state Supreme Court on August 21 after an eight day jury trial in Canton.

According to the law firm, Dr. Christopher Touloukian performed the surgery at Canton-Potsdam Hospital on November 23, 2015.

The firm said the now 38 year old plaintiff suffered severe and life altering injuries to his bile duct system due to what the jury found was negligence on the part of the surgeon in placing a surgical clip in an admittedly wrong location.

The release said this negligent clip placement resulted in severe damage to the common hepatic duct.

The attorney in the case, Thomas Mortati, told 7 News the plaintiff, whose name was not released, now has a permanent drain protruding from his chest and needs daily dressing changes and saline flushes.

He also must undergo multiple surgical procedures for the rest of his life.

“Nothing will ever make him whole. Certainly he will have medical care that will take care of him for the rest of his life. But trust me, he would trade this jury verdict to be just a normal human being again,” said Mortati.

7 News reached out to Canton-Potsdam Hospital for comment. We’ll update this story if we hear from officials there.

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