In early 2005, Kathleen Kelly Cregan arrived in New York for what she hoped would be a restorative, and safe, plastic surgery procedure. However, not long after her surgery, she suffered a cardiac arrest, causing severe brain damage and, shortly thereafter, her death. The Cregan family sued, alleging medical malpractice on the part of Dr. Michael Sachs, Dr. Subbaro – an anesthesiologist, and nurse involved in Kathleen’s surgery and recovery.
Kathleen had first heard of Dr. Michael E. Sachs in The Sunday Independent of Ireland, where his list of glamorous clients and multiple media appearances were highly touted. Not mentioned was the fact that Dr. Sachs had also settled over 30 medical malpractice lawsuits during his career.
Following her facelift surgery, Kathleen was left to recover by Dr, Sachs and Dr. Subbaro, who departed the clinic – leaving her under the supervision of a nurse later shown to have inadequate experience in dealing with certain situations.
The morning following her surgery, a blood clot that had formed at the top of Kathleen’s throat dropped into her trachea, cutting off oxygen. The lack of air put Kathleen into cardiac arrest, causing traumatic brain injury and eventually killing her.
The malpractice case went before the State Supreme Court, in Manhattan, where Dr. Sachs eventually settled for $2.1 million. A month later, the nurse named in the wrongful death lawsuit also settled – for $1 million.
However, Dr. Subbaro, the anesthesiologist who had assisted with Kathleen’s surgery refused to settle and was judged by a jury – who found him innocent.
The news was shocking to the Cregan family and lawyer representing them. While the jury acknowledged that mistakes had been made, they also noted that these seemed insufficient to hold Dr. Subbaro responsible for Kathleen’s death.
The Cregan’s lawyer was set to file a post-trial motion on the issue.