After deliberating for three and a half hours, a Connecticut medical malpractice jury returned its verdict on May 30, 2014 in the amount of $12 million in favor of a 65-year-old woman who alleged that she suffered major injuries as a result of her surgeons negligently puncturing her colon during her routine hernia operation in 2008. The plaintiff alleged that as a result of the surgical malpractice, she was in a coma for a month, she endured a massive infection, she had to have multiple additional surgeries, and she lost most of her large intestine as a result.
The woman had sued the two surgeons who had participated in her hernia surgery as well as the hospital where the surgery took place. After the verdict was rendered, a spokeswoman for the defendant hospital indicated that the hospital was considering an appeal and issued a statement on behalf of the hospital which stated, “This verdict is an unfortunate example of the litigious environment in health care that hinders progressive reform and affects our ability to reduce health care costs for those we serve.”
(We note that the hospital’s statement expresses no compassion for the woman whom the jury found to have suffered tremendously as a result of medical negligence that occurred at the hospital, and the statement does not dispute that medical negligence caused the woman to be severely and permanently harmed — what better way to instigate “progressive reform” than to be held accountable for avoidable harms caused by medical negligence that the jury found to have occurred at the defendant hospital?)
The plaintiff alleged that the surgeons did not realize that they had punctured the woman’s colon during the hernia surgery until after they had closed the surgical wound and completed the surgery. The woman subsequently developed a massive infection due to her punctured colon, which led to septic shock, multiple organ failure, a heart attack, and the coma. The injuries caused the woman to be unable to properly digest food and to be restricted in her movement.
One of the medical malpractice defendants was the primary surgeon; he settled the medical malpractice claims against him before trial. The other defendant surgeon was a resident-in-training at the time of the woman’s surgery, and he claimed that he did not puncture the woman’s colon (the plaintiff claimed otherwise).
The defendant hospital claimed that it should not be responsible for the actions of the surgical resident. In response, the plaintiff’s lawyer stated, “We hope that [the] Hospital gets the message that being a teaching facility carries with it the responsibility of insuring that patient safety comes first. We expect that [the] Hospital will take responsibility for its own residents. That’s the expectation of the public.”
If you or a family member may have been injured due to surgical negligence, you should promptly consult with a local medical malpractice attorney in your U.S. state who may investigate your surgical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice claim against a surgeon, if appropriate.
Click here to visit our website or call us toll-free at 800-295-3959 to be connected with medical malpractice lawyers in Connecticut (or medical malpractice lawyers in your state) who may assist you with your surgical malpractice claim.
Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.