Although the case was set to go to trial earlier this month, a medical malpractice complaint over an alleged botched surgery has been continued. 

As previously reported, Ernesto Escareno filed suit against Beaumont physician John Schmidt and his employer, Port Arthur Surgical Association, on Feb. 16, 2011, in Jefferson County District Court. Escareno claims a botched surgery resulted in a transection of his common bile duct.

The case was set to go to trial on May 1.

However, on March 14 the parties filed a joint motion for continuance, asserting more time was needed for discovery, court papers say.

On March 15 Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, granted the motion, resetting the trial to date for Sept. 2.

Court records further show that on July 5, 2011, Dr. Schmidt filed a motion objecting to the expert report of Dr. Michael Leitman, who allegedly failed to adequately explain an opinion on causation. Under Chapter 74 of the Texas Civil Code, med-mal plaintiffs are required to submit an expert report.

Judge Floyd denied the motion on Nov. 3, 2011, prompting Dr. Schmidt to file an appeal three weeks later, court records show.

On March 8, 2012, the Ninth Court issued an opinion authored by Justice Hollis Horton, which found the report does constitute a good faith effort explaining how Escareno’s injury was caused and how his injury could have been avoided.

According to the original petition, on Dec. 2, 2008, Escareno sought medical treatment from Dr. Schmidt, which included a video laparoscopy and the surgical removal of a gallbladder.

“As the result of defendant’s negligence, Escareno suffered a transected common bile duct and required further surgery and follow-up care,” the suit states, adding that Dr. Schmidt negligently failed to detect the condition and provide reasonable medical care.

Escareno is suing for his incurred medical expenses and alleged mental anguish.

Beaumont attorney Brian Sutton of Sutton & Jacobs represents him.

Houston attorney Marc Calvert represents Dr. Schmidt.

Trial case No. E189-375

Appeals case No. 09-11-00662-CV

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