Lessons Learned From Attorney Tom Edwards' 170 Million Dollar Bariatric Surgery Verdict
Distinguishing maloccurrence from malpractice is the first step in evaluating bariatric cases, and with verdicts commonly reaching $1M+, the stakes are high and missteps are unforgiving. While surgical weight loss can yield dramatic benefits, significant complications can occur during surgery, postoperatively, or even months after recovery.
Separating signal from noise is mission critical to success, and the first step in evaluating bariatric surgery cases is a solid understanding of the fundamentals. This program offers a detailed look at negligence during bariatric surgery, with first-hand insights from the lead attorney on Chandler v. North Florida Surgeons, a $170M+ bariatric case. Join Dr. Burton Bentley and Attorney Thomas Edwards for this must-watch follow-up to Insights Beyond the Law: Fundamentals of Negligence During Gallbladder Surgery.
This course provides a detailed exploration of bariatric anatomy, procedures, complications, and theories of negligence that are applicable to weight loss procedures and other types of surgery as well. Mr. Edwards will then highlight key principles using his epic case as an exemplar, while Dr. Bentley concludes with practical tips for exploring your next bariatric case. Both speakers will remain for audience questions at the conclusion.
This course is part of the Insights Beyond the Law: High-Risk, High-Reward Medical Malpractice series.
DR. BURTON BENTLEY II, M.D., FAAEM, is a board-certified emergency medicine physician and a nationally recognized authority on medical liability, informed consent, and complex issues at the intersections of medicine, business & law. As CEO of Elite Medical Experts, Dr. Bentley and his team have consulted on over 8000 medicolegal matters totaling over $3B at risk. He secured a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry as a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Arizona before earning his medical degree at the same institution where he was awarded Alpha Omega Alpha before graduating at the top of his class. Dr. Bentley then completed a residency in emergency medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin where he served as a flight physician on nearly 100 emergency missions. He then practiced full-time emergency medicine as a partner at Northwest Tucson Emergency Physicians for 21 years before stepping out to pursue a novel medical device that he patented and commercialized in 2016. Throughout his entire clinical career, Dr. Bentley consulted on complex medicolegal issues, and in 2010 he founded Elite Medical Experts, a consulting firm that aligns professors of medicine and surgery as consulting and testifying experts in complex litigation. Elite serves over 4,000 clients across the United States including law firms, governmental entities, corporate entities, and insurers. Dr. Bentley lectures extensively on medicolegal topics and consults strategically on medical negligence, informed consent, risk mitigation, and crisis management at the clinical practice level. More recently, he co-founded Consent Spectrum, a digital platform to optimize informed consent for nearly every aesthetic medical procedure.
THOMAS S. EDWARDS JR. is the senior partner at Edwards & Ragatz, P.A., a Florida law firm he founded in 1990 after earning his J.D. degree in 1983 from Stetson University College of Law - the oldest law school in the State of Florida. His activism on behalf of justice traces decades back in his family history, including his grandmother’s work during the women's suffrage movement where she led the women of Randolph-Macon on a march in Washington in support of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In addition to recognition by Best Lawyers in America, Florida Trend, Florida Super Lawyers, and the Top 100 Lawyers in the United States, Mr. Edwards received the Martindale-Hubbell 35 Year Anniversary Award, the B. J. Masterson Award for Professionalism, and the Justice Raymond Erhlich Trial Advocacy Award. He also served as president of the Florida Justice Association and the Jacksonville Bar Association, and was appointed by the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court to serve on the Florida Supreme Court Judicial Management Council. In 2012, Mr. Edwards won the largest medical malpractice verdict in the United States - $178,000,000 for a man nearly killed by complications of bariatric surgery. This record-breaking award is the largest ever recovered for a bariatric surgery malpractice, and one of the largest medical negligence awards ever reported. Mr. Edwards remains devoted to the daily practice of law, and also enjoys spending time with his wife and children.
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