A Fresno Superior Court jury awarded $68 million (including $12.39 million in punitive damages) to the family of Silvino Perez, ruling that Dr. Pervaiz Chaudhry was responsible for putting Mr. Perez into a coma as a result of his negligence during surgery. The Perez family 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.
“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 Ricardo Echeverria.
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 Dr. Pervaiz Chaudhry. On April 2, 2012, Silvino 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.
“I’ve worked with Mr. Perez’s family for years now and they have all been through a terrible ordeal,” said attorney Jeff Mitchell. “Sending your husband and father into a hospital to get care only to have him reduced to being in a coma is a nightmare none of us ever want to face.”
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 affected 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.
“This was an extremely complicated case,” said attorney Steve Heimberg. “The jury was able to recognize that Dr. Chaudhry’s behavior was absolutely not what we expect from anyone in the medical community, especially a surgeon who literally holds people’s lives in his hands.”
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.