On January 14, 2013, a Baltimore City medical malpractice jury returned its verdict in favor of the plaintiff in the amount of $1.42 million for a surgeon’s wrongful removal of the woman’s right ovary and right fallopian tube when the surgeon was supposed to remove the woman’s diseased left ovary. Adding to the alleged wrongdoing was the surgeon’s refusal to provide her patient’s medical records to her medical malpractice lawyer despite repeated requests and questions regarding the authenticity of the records.
When the medical records were finally obtained, the plaintiff’s attorney was able to show that the surgeon had added a notation in the records stating that the woman had complained about right-sided pain by comparing the records finally supplied by the surgeon to a copy of the records obtained through another treating physician whose copy of the records did not contain the notation by the surgeon. The medical malpractice jury saw both versions of the medical records.
The woman was 28 years old and pregnant when she had a routine medical appointment with the physician. The physician found a mass on the woman’s left ovary that was a benign cyst but could become malignant sometime in the future. The woman agreed to have the physician remove her left ovary during surgery scheduled for fifteen months later. The surgeon wrongfully removed the right ovary and right fallopian tube and failed to remove the left ovary, without advising her patient about what had occurred. During the follow-up appointment one month later, the surgeon still failed to advise her patient regarding what had happened during the surgery.
The patient experienced right-sided pelvic pain several days later and left messages for the surgeon but the surgeon never returned the calls. The woman then went to a local hospital emergency room where she was told for the first time that her right ovary and right fallopian tube had been removed but her left ovary was still in place. She attempted to confront the surgeon but the surgeon did not return the woman’s messages.
As a result of the surgeon’s wrongful conduct, the woman has a diseased left ovary that may become malignant in the future that must be removed. She may also be unable to have children in the future. The woman claimed in her medical malpractice lawsuit that she suffers anxiety and mental stress as a result of the situation caused by the surgeon.
The medical malpractice trial lasted four days and the jury deliberated for one hour before rendering its verdict. The amount awarded by the jury for non-economic damages will be reduced to $680,000, pursuant to Maryland’s cap on non-economic damages that was in effect at the time of the surgery.
Source: Nadege Neim, et al. v. Maureen Muoneke, M.D., Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Case No.: 24-C-11-006058.
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