A California team of injury and malpractice lawyers certainly made an impact in Fresno on March 20, when a Fresno Superior Court jury awarded $68 million to the family of a man who was put into a coma as a result of a doctor’s negligence during surgery. The plaintiff, Silvino Perez, was represented by Ricardo Echeverria of Shernoff Bidart Echeverria LLP, Steven A. Heimberg, M.D. and Marsha E. Barr-Fernandez of Heimberg Barr, LLP and Jeffrey S. Mitchell of Mitchell Law Group.

In December of 2017, the first of several trials in Fresno Superior Court began, alleging a pattern of negligence, cover-ups, fraud and more on the part of defendant Dr. Pervaiz Chaudhry. On April 2, 2012, Mr. Perez, then age 71, underwent open-heart surgery at CRMC. The planned procedures were aortic valve replacement and an ascending aortic aneurysm repair. Severe bleeding complications required extensive additional surgery. This included an unanticipated and unexplained right coronary artery reimplantation and a (dishonestly) hidden subsequent aortic repair.

“While the jury’s verdict will never be able to restore Mr. Perez’s mental state or make his family whole, we are grateful that these jurors found Dr. Chaudhry guilty of putting this beloved man into a coma through his actions,” said attorney Echeverria.

As a result of complications stemming from this undisclosed damage to the aorta, Mr. Perez suffered severe bleeding leading to cardiac arrest, perforation of the ventricle, and then even more extensive bleeding from this perforation and the unexplained aortic tear. By the time the proper repair was effected and his bleeding had stopped, Mr. Perez had suffered extreme ischemia to all his organs causing wide-ranging damage, from kidney failure to severe, permanent and global brain injury. He will be in a near-vegetative state for life.

The award includes $12.39 million in punitive damages.

The lawsuit is Maria A. Arteaga Alvarez, Silvino Perez et al. v Community Regional Medical Center, Pervaiz A. Chaudhry, Fresno Superior Court, Case No. 13CECG03906.