Jury awards $9.4M in malpractice suit

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A Lawrence Superior Court jury has awarded $9.4 million to a Methuen man who filed a medical malpractice suit accusing a surgeon of failing to properly treat his post-surgery complications, resulting in “severe and permanent personal injuries,” according to court documents.

Marcos Aguirre sued Jonathan Gordon, a North Andover-based surgeon who treated Aguirre at Lawrence General Hospital, for medical malpractice and negligence.

During the trial, Aguirre — represented by Boston-based law firm Lubin & Meyer — presented evidence that Gordon failed to properly treat him for an abdominal infection they say was the result a post-operative intestinal leak in 2013.

Gordon “failed to properly recognize and appreciate the signs and symptoms of an anastomotic leak and advanced sepsis,” and “failed to inform Mr. Aguirre that his post-surgical condition may be indicative of an anastomotic leak,” according to court documents.

Aguirre required seven additional surgeries, 18 hospitalizations, and wore a colostomy bag for more than a year, according to court documents.

A total $7.5 million was ordered to Marcos Aguirre for pain, suffering and loss of companionship, and $1.9 million was awarded to his wife, Janet Aguirre, for loss of consortium damages, according to court documents.

“The jury spoke on his behalf,” said Nick Cappiello, one of Aguirre’s attorneys. “Although it cannot turn back the clock on all he’s gone through, this verdict does provide him some justice.”

Gordon, throughout the trial, maintained he provided care that was “at all times proper and complied with the applicable standard of care for the average qualified general surgeon.” He maintained that nothing he did “or allegedly failed to do caused or contributed to any injury to Marcos Aguirre,” according to court documents.

According to the state Board of Registration in Medicine website, Gordon has made two prior malpractice payments, in 2008 and 1999. His license is still active, according to the state registration website, and he holds a private practice in North Andover.

The Board of Registration website says, “Some studies have shown that there is no significant correlation between malpractice history and a physician’s competence,” but gives the information in the interest of patients’ ability to choose their physician.

“To make the best health care decisions, you should view this information in perspective. You could miss an opportunity for high-quality care by selecting a physician based solely on malpractice history.”

Gordon could not be reached for comment Tuesday. Attorneys representing him did not respond to requests for comment.

A spokesperson for Lawrence General Hospital declined to comment but confirmed that Gordon is no longer on staff at the hospital.

According to the state registration website, the board has not disciplined Gordon, and has no record of criminal convictions for him.

Thanks to Zoe Mathews zmathews@eagletribune.com .