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Published: Tuesday, 2/20/2007

Clyde pair awarded $3.75M for surgery

A Sandusky County couple won a $3.75 million judgment yesterday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court in a medical malpractice lawsuit against a Toledo physician.

A jury awarded the money for damages to John and Phyllis Hutchins, of Clyde, who filed the complaint in 2004 against Dr. Michael G. Rashid, of Genito Urinary Surgeons Inc., 3500 Executive Pkwy.

The litigation stems from complications suffered by Mrs. Hutchins in November, 2002, during surgery on an abdominal aortic aneurysm at Toledo Hospital in which Dr. Rashid participated.

The verdict included $3.5 million for Mrs. Hutchins and $250,000 to her husband for loss of consortium.

Brian Eisen, a Cleveland attorney who represents the couple, said after the operation on the aneurysm, which was performed by another surgeon, Dr. Rashid elected to remove her left kidney.

Mr. Eisen said removal of the organ was unnecessary and serious complications ensued during the operation that caused the patient to lose nearly 11 liters of blood, resulting in the permanent loss of her vision.

In the surgery, usually a 5 1/2-hour procedure that took 10 1/2-hours, doctors removed Mrs. Hutchins' spleen and performed a colonostophy to correct the complications, Mr. Eisen said.

"However, there were some incredibly good doctors in this case who saved this woman's life," said Dr. Laurel Matthews, a plaintiff's attorney in the case.

John Bodie, an attorney for Dr. Rashid, said he was disappointed with the verdict.

He said there were inconsistencies in the way the evidence was presented during the trial, which began last week in the courtroom of Judge Frederick McDonald.

"We will be exploring the options as we move forward,'' he said.

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