Brooklyn, NY – – Jane Doe was 21 years old when she went for a routine gynecological surgery to remove cysts from her ovaries in February of 2010. However, she had to return to the Brooklyn, New York hospital approximately a week later due to severe pain from a perforation of her bowel. The injury to her large intestine quickly worsened into peritonitis, a dangerous infection in her abdomen and pelvis.
Ms. Doe continued to suffer and required multiple operations to help correct the apparent surgical mistake. She asserted that the hole in her bowel occurred due to doctor negligence and therefore filed a medical malpractice lawsuit. After consulting with a top medical malpractice lawyer, she further contended that the Ob-Gyn surgeon delayed treatment due to failure to diagnose the complication from the operation.
Following negotiation with the defendants, the malpractice victim was given a $340,000 settlement. For further details on this case, please see the full article below.
Illustrative photo by U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Benjamin Stratton [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Surgeon’s Slip Led to Peritonitis, Colostomy, Patient Claimed (VerdictSearch.com, by Priya Idiculla)
State: New York
Injury Type(s): abscess; laparotomy; scar and/or disfigurement; abdomen-peritonitis; arterial/vascular-hemorrhage; surgeries/treatment-colostomy; surgeries/treatment-osteotomy; gastrointestinal/digestive-intestine, resection; gastrointestinal/digestive-bowel/colon/intestine, perforation
Case Type: Medical Malpractice – OB-GYN, Surgical Error, Delayed Treatment, Failure to Detect, Gynecological Surgery
In February 2010, plaintiff Jane Doe, a 21-year-old unemployed woman, underwent laparoscopic surgery. The procedure, a cystectomy, involved the removal of cysts that occupied her ovaries. The surgery was performed by a gynecologist at a hospital in Brooklyn. Doe was discharged during the ensuing day. After eight days had passed, Doe returned to the hospital. She was suffering a severely painful condition of her pelvis. A test revealed that her pain was a result of a perforation of her colon. The perforation allowed leakage that caused peritonitis. Doe claimed that the perforation occurred during the cystectomy. Doe sued the Ob-Gyn surgeon. Doe alleged that the surgeon failed to properly perform the cystectomy, that the doctor failed to timely detect a resultant injury, that the doctor failed to obtain informed consent to the cystectomy and that the doctor’s failures constituted malpractice. Plaintiff’s counsel contended that Doe’s injury was an inadvertent ligation that was a result of the surgeon’s failure to maintain proper anatomical landmarks. He also contended that the injury is not an accepted by-product of a cystectomy. Doe claimed that the surgeon had not warned that a perforation was a possible by-product of a cystectomy. Thus, her counsel contended that the doctor did not obtain informed consent to the procedure. Plaintiff’s counsel also contended that Doe’s injury should have been detected prior to the completion of the cystectomy. He claimed that the perforation would have been detected had saline been injected into the colon. Defense counsel contended that Doe’s injury is an accepted risk of a laparoscopic exploration of the pelvis, and the doctor claimed that he had disclosed the possibility of such an injury. Defense counsel also contended that Doe’s perforation may have occurred after the surgery had been completed. He contended that the perforation could have been a delayed result of a minor nick of her colon. He noted that the perforation caused peritonitis, and he contended that death would have been the result of untreated peritonitis having lingered throughout the eight days that separated the surgery and the diagnosis of the perforation.
Doe claimed that the surgeon caused a perforation of her colon. She developed an abscess and peritonitis, and she experienced cramps, hemorrhages and pain. The perforation was repaired via a laparotomy that included resection of a damaged portion of her bowel, an osteotomy, which involved the shaving of bone, and the creation of a colostomy. The surgery necessitated a hospitalization that lasted four days. The colostomy was reversed after several months had passed. Doe claimed that she has not regained normal functionality of her colon. She claimed that she suffers clots, constipation and cramps, that she cannot digest food that has not been finely sliced, and that she requires constant use of laxatives. She also claimed that her condition causes anguish, anxiety and depression. She retains a large permanent scar of the area that lies immediately below her navel. Doe sought recovery of damages for past and future pain and suffering.
Result: During the imminence of a trial, the parties negotiated a settlement. The Ob-Gyn doctor’s insurer agreed to pay $340,000.
Editor’s Comment: This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff’s counsel. Defense counsel did not respond to the reporter’s phone calls.