Medical Verdicts on the web
NOTABLE JUDGMENTS AND SETTLEMENTS IN BRIEF
Pain, oophorectomy, then bowel perforation
Following an abdominal hysterectomy and bladder suspension, a 42-year-old woman began to have pain in the right suprapubic area. During laparoscopy to determine the cause of the pain, an ObGyn removed the patient’s ovaries. The patient began to experience severe abdominal pain and was found to have a perforated bowel. A colostomy was performed—and then reversed 2 months later.
Patient’s claim The laparoscopy, during which the bowel perforation occurred, should have been converted to an open laparotomy because of adhesions and the ovaries adhering with scar tissue to the bowel.
Doctor’s defense Bowel perforations are a known risk of laparoscopy, and the bowel perforation occurred after the surgery.
Verdict Defense verdict.
8 repair surgeries harm career
A 35-year-old country music entertainer who had complained of persistent abdominal pain underwent a hysterectomy and oophorectomy. During the procedure, the ureter and colon were transected, although this was not diagnosed until 5 days later. Nearly 4 L of urine was found when repair surgery was begun, and the patient’s chance of survival was uncertain. She had a total of 8 repair surgeries, which left residual scarring.
Patient’s claim As a result of the injuries, she could no longer perform on tours.
Doctor’s defense The problems were a known complication of the surgery.
Verdict A $500,000 verdict was returned. A post-trial motion by the defendant was pending.
The cases in this column are selected by the editors of OBG Management from Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts, with permission of the editor, Lewis Laska, Nashville, Tenn (www.verdictslaska.com). The available information about the cases is sometimes incomplete; pertinent details may be unavailable. Moreover, the cases may or may not have merit. Still, these cases represent types of clinical situations that may result in litigation and are meant to illustrate variation in verdicts and awards. Any illustrations are generic and do not represent a specific legal case.