On June 1, 2012, a New Jersey medical malpractice jury returned a verdict in the amount of $6.3 million in favor of a 48-year-old woman who in February, 2007 had surgery involving her ovaries that ended up injuring her bowel that was not recognized until after the surgery was completed. As a result of the bowel injury, the woman suffered a serious infection that almost killed her and required re-hospitalizations and additional surgeries, including removal of part of her colon.
Her permanent injuries require her to be on a liquid diet, to sleep in a sitting position so that her body is upright, and to endure pain or discomfort on a daily basis. The woman also lost many months from work as a bookkeeper due to her injuries. Because her injuries affected her marriage, the jury awarded her husband $300,000 for the damage to their marital relationship.
The medical malpractice claim was filed against the allegedly negligent surgeon and did not include the hospital where the surgery occurred because the hospital filed for bankruptcy in 2007 and closed the following year despite receiving millions of dollars of support from New Jersey and the federal government in an attempt to keep the 256-bed hospital open.
After the medical malpractice verdict was awarded to the woman, she said she would not want any of the money if only she could regain her health and not have to live with the permanent injuries that will seriously affect her health the rest of her life.
It is a known risk of abdominal surgery that injury may inadvertently occur to the bowel during surgery. However, a bowel injury during abdominal surgery may be caused by medical malpractice (just like it is a known risk that while driving on the highway you may be involved in a collision but the collision could be due to the carelessness of the other driver). A thorough investigation into what occurred during surgery by a medical malpractice attorney may help determine if the bowel injury was due to medical negligence or just “bad luck.”
One of the more common claims of medical malpractice involving a bowel injury during abdominal surgery is the failure to timely discover and diagnosis the bowel injury and/or the failure to timely and appropriately respond to the bowel injury by promptly providing the necessary medical treatment. It appears that the New Jersey woman’s medical malpractice claim involved the negligent failure to diagnose and treat her bowel injury that resulted in the woman suffering the permanent injuries she claimed.
If you or a family member suffered serious or permanent injuries or losses as a result of possible medical negligence, you owe it to yourself and to your family to consult with a local medical malpractice lawyer who may be willing to assist you with your medical malpractice claim.
Click here to visit our website or telephone us toll-free at 800-295-3959 to be connected with medical malpractice lawyers in your state who may agree to investigate your possible medical malpractice claim for you and file a medical malpractice lawsuit on your behalf, if appropriate.
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