Kevin Direct: (616) 551-1723
Fax: (616) 323-3658
Co-Professor, Michigan Medical Malpractice Law,
Western Michigan University Cooley School of Law,
Fall Semester 2010 and 2011.
Medical Malpractice Defense
Nursing Home Defense
BA, University of Michigan, 1994
JD, Valparaiso University School of Law, 1997 (magna cum laude)
Michigan Rising Star Medical Malpractice, 2008,2009, 2011
Michigan Super Lawyer Medical Malpractice, 2012
State Bar Licenses
Other Court Admissions
US District Ct, ND of Illinois
US District Ct, ND of Indiana
US District Ct, WD of Michigan
American Board of Trial Advocates
Defense Trial Counsel, co-chair Medical
Michigan Society of Healthcare Risk Management
Defense Research Institute
February 2018, Presentation, Grand Rounds: “Charting Tales and Lessons from the Courtroom,” Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, Grand Rapids, Michigan (Kevin Lesperance and Ben Dost)
April 2016, Co-Presentation with Rachel B. Roe: “Credentialing – State and Federal Law Case Update,” Michigan Association Medical Staff Services Annual Meeting, Midland, Michigan
March 2016, Presentation: “Michigan Tort Reform,” South Haven Health System’s Board of Directors, South Haven, Michigan
February 2016, Presentation: “Policies and Procedures for Subpoenas and Search Warrants, Code Armstrong, and Code Lockdown,” South Haven Community Hospital, South Haven, Michigan
August 2015, Presentation: “Informed Consent in the Medical Malpractice Setting,” Michigan State Bar, Master Lawyer Section, Harbor Springs, Michigan
August 2015, Co-Presentation with Diana B. Nordlund DO, JD: “Informed Consent: What to Document and Why, Western Michigan University School of Medicine (clinic physicians), Kalamazoo, Michigan
May 2015, Presentation: “Trial Objections,” Michigan Defense Trial Counsel Annual Meeting, Midland, Michigan
September 2014, Presentation: “Anatomy of a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit,” Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, Michigan
July 2013, Mock Trial: Michigan County Road Commission Self-Insurance Pool Annual Meeting, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
Recent Results (at Henn Lesperance PLC)
October 2018, No Cause Jury Verdict. Successfully defended a hospital client’s nursing staff in a wrongful death medical malpractice claim involving an unobserved fall. Shortly afterward the patient became obtunded and required mechanical ventilation, then passed away the next day. Plaintiff essentially claimed that a chair alarm was required by the nursing standard of care, and would have prevented the fall. The chart, however, contained no prior incidents of impulsiveness such that a chair alarm would be indicated. Moreover, the medical evidence showed that a previously diagnosed but inoperable “truly huge” basilar artery brain aneurysm was already impeding the patient’s breathing before the fall and was the actual cause of the need for ventilation, and unfortunate demise. That condition had led to multiple recent hospitalizations for recurrent aspiration pneumonia directly related to pressure on the brain from the aneurysm. The jury agreed, finding that the nursing staff did not violate the applicable standard of care.
August 2018, No Cause Jury Verdict. Successfully defended a board-certified urologist and his hospital-owned practice against a medical malpractice claim. Plaintiff alleged that our client negligently misplaced a Foley catheter through a false passage (tear) in the urethra, and into his rectum. The defense to this claim was simple: all of the medical evidence proved that the physician correctly placed the catheter into Plaintiff’s bladder, and that the catheter later became dislodged and then inadvertently advanced by a midlevel provider. The jury returned its verdict in a matter of minutes.
April 2018, No Cause Jury Verdict. Successfully defended a board-certified cardiologist against a wrongful death medical malpractice claim. Plaintiff alleged that the patient was improperly cleared for surgery on three blood thinners: Plavix, Aspirin, and Coumadin, leading to a post-operative bleed, six blood transfusions, and death four days later. In contrast, we were able to prove that the surgical clearance by our client, the orthopedic surgeon (co-Defendant), and primary care physician (not sued) was appropriate under the circumstances of this case, namely the low risk of bleeding associated with the knee arthroscopy at issue. Accordingly, the jury returned a no cause verdict for both defendants after three hours of deliberation.
March, 2018, No Cause Jury Verdict. Successfully defended a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) against a wrongful death medical malpractice claim. Plaintiff alleged an intraoperative regurgitation and aspiration occurred because the patient was not intubated. In contrast, we were able to prove that the pre-anesthesia plan for sedation (not general anesthesia) was safe and appropriate. Moreover, that plan was created by the supervising anesthesiologist, not the CRNA. Ultimately, the jury concluded that our CRNA client did not violate the standard of care.
May 2016, Contained Jury Verdict (More Than $200,000 Below the Last Demand). Defended an orthopedic practice against a claim that its nurse negligently removed a cast causing a permanent 10-inch scar on an 8-year-old girl’s arm. Defendant admitted negligence and causation, and the case was tried on damage. Plaintiff’s ﬁnal pretrial demand was $375,000, and the jury returned a verdict of $160,000, reduced to $155,000 (present value).
November 2015, No Cause Jury Verdict. Successfully defended a hospital and physical therapist (PT) against ordinary negligence claims involving the alleged failure to provide a safe wheelchair back.The Plaintiff failed to check the locking mechanism, got into her wheelchair, and fell backwards hyperextending her back and allegedly requiring her spine to be fused to the pelvis two months later. The jury concluded that the hospital was not negligent in providing the Plaintiff with a wheelchair with only one locking mechanism that was not used by Plaintiff.
November 2015, No Cause Jury Verdict. Successfully defended a hospital and emergency medicine physician against medical malpractice claims involving an alleged failure to diagnose gas gangrene in a post-operative knee. The jury concluded that the physician did not violate the standard of care because he performed the indicated tests, and there were no signs at that time that the patient had a latent but deadly infection. The patient died less than 48-hours later.
October 2015, No Cause Jury Verdict. Successfully defended a general surgeon and his PC against medical malpractice claims regarding post-operative complications following the intraoperative decision to make a direct repair of a perforation as opposed to performing a loop colostomy. The jury concluded that the physician did not violate the standard of care because his clinical judgment in choosing to perform a direct repair was appropriate, and based on good reasoning, even if the outcome was not what the patient or doctor had hoped.
July 2015, No Cause Jury Verdict. Successfully defended a hospital and two certiﬁed registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) against medical malpractice claims regarding an alleged intraoperative stroke cause by insufﬁcient blood pressure. Plaintiff’s claimed wage loss was approximately $2.5 million above the hospital’s insurance policy. Ultimately, the jury concluded that the CRNAs did not violate the standard of care because they kept Plaintiff’s mean arterial blood pressure within accepted ranges.
June 2015, No Cause Jury Verdict. Successfully defended a general surgeon and his PC against medical malpractice claims regarding post-operative complications following a total colectomy. The jury concluded that the physician did not violate the standard of care because the Plaintiff’s outcome was an unfortunate but known and accepted potential complication of the procedure as discussed with Plaintiff multiple times in the pre-operative informed consent conversations, as documented in the medical records.
February 2015, No Cause Jury Verdict. Successfully defended a hospital and physician assistant (PA) against medical malpractice claims involving an alleged failure to diagnose a lacerated ﬂexor digitorum profundus tendon in the emergency department. The jury concluded that the PA did not violate the standard of care her performed all of the required tests.
October 2014, No Cause Jury Verdict. Successfully defended a general surgeon and his PC against medical malpractice claims regarding post-operative complications following a gastric bypass revision Roux-en-Y. The jury concluded that the physician did not violate the standard of care; rather, Plaintiff’s outcome was an unfortunate but known and accepted potential complication of the bariatric procedure as documented in the signed informed consent documents.