On May 21, 2010, a 31-year-old woman went to a “laser & surgery” clinic located in a Georgia shopping center that advertised with a discount coupon placed in a local newspaper for breast augmentation surgery at the low price of $3,500.
The woman’s subsequent medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that she was not properly measured for the correct size of her implants, that she was not given an appropriate pre-operative examination before the surgery, that she did not meet with the surgeon who performed the surgery until the surgery began, that the surgery was performed under local anesthesia (the surgery lasted between three and four hours), and that the owner of the clinic assisted the surgeon but she was not a certified medical professional.
Weeks after her breast augmentation surgery, the woman returned to the clinic because of severe pain and because she could see her implants through the ruptured surgical incisions. The surgeon prescribed additional pain medication and oral antibiotics at that time.
Because her condition continued to deteriorate and her surgical wounds were draining, the woman went to a hospital emergency department, where she was diagnosed with MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus). She was admitted to the hospital where she was treated with intravenous antibiotics for one week. She had to return to the hospital again for treatment of infection and for surgical removal of her breast implants. She had to undergo antibiotic treatments through 2010. Her complications from her breast implant surgery and subsequent treatment for infection resulted in permanent disfigurement, according to the woman’s medical malpractice lawsuit.
The woman’s Georgia medical malpractice case was tried before a jury over a two-day period in June 2014. On June 27, 2014, the jury deliberated for only 45 minutes before rendering its verdict in favor of the woman: $500,000 against the clinic surgeon, $250,000 against the clinic owner who had participated in the woman’s breast augmentation surgery, and $250,000 against the clinic itself.
The attorneys for the medical malpractice plaintiff, the defendant doctor, and the defendant clinic have much work ahead of them: the defendant surgeon has indicated through his attorney that an appeal will be filed, and the plaintiff will have to seek the assets of the defendants to satisfy the judgment because neither the surgeon nor the clinic had medical malpractice insurance.
The surgeon no longer is associated with the clinic and is now treating prisoners for Georgia Correctional HealthCare. The surgeon was reportedly sanctioned by the Georgia Composite Medical Board in June 2012 as a result of 19 complaints regarding breast augmentation and cosmetic surgery procedures performed at the same clinic, and he is precluded from performing cosmetic surgery procedures and from placing chest tubes in patients.
Perhaps a lesson to be learned from this Georgia medical malpractice case is that it may be a good idea to avoid having breast augmentation surgery in a shopping center clinic.
If you or a loved one were seriously injured as a result of medical malpractice in Georgia or in another state in the U.S., you should promptly consult with a Georgia medical malpractice attorney or a medical malpractice attorney in your state who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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