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Shapiro & Appleton

$725,000.00 Settlement for Victim of Two Cut Ureters

Date: January 1, 2013

Staff: Denell C.- Paralegal; Melissa K.- Legal Assistant

Attorneys: James C. Lewis, Mark F. and Kevin M. Duffan

What Happened:

Our client was a 39 year old lady who went to see her gynecologist with complaints of heavy bleeding and severe cramping during her periods.  Her gynecologists evaluated her and performed numerous tests.  The test revealed that she suffered from several conditions that required removing her uterus (laparoscopic hysterectomy).  After appropriate counseling, the gynecologist put our client in the hospital with a plan to perform a uterus removal (laparoscopic supra-cervical hysterectomy) utilizing a surgical device known as the DaVinci Robot.

The surgery was performed by the gynecologist who did not notice any problems or injuries during our clients’ operation.  However after our client’s operation was over and our client was in recovery, it was noticed that no urine was coming through her catheter.  Numerous tests were performed and it was discovered that both her left and right ureters, the tubes that connect your kidneys to your bladder, had been injured so severely during her surgery that urine would not pass through them.  It was later determined that one of them had been burned with a surgery instrument (cautery) and the other had been blocked by a misplaced stich.

Catheters and tubes were placed through the plaintiff’s back into her left and right kidney (nephrostomy tubes).  This allowed her urine to drain out of these tubes into bags that were strapped onto her legs.  Three months after her hysterectomy, a surgery was performed that replaced both of our client’s ureters into her bladder so that her urinary system would work properly.

Legal Strategy:

 Our team of attorneys conducted research on the applicable medical malpractice standards of care in gynecologic surgery and ultimately retained three separate gynecology experts who provided opinions that the medical standards of care had been violated.  The gynecologist and her employer were sued for medical malpractice and numerous discovery depositions were conducted of the parties and health care providers who took care of our client.

Our three medical experts generally asserted that based on our client’s medical history and presentation the surgery could have and should have been performed in a way that resulted in no injuries to the client’s ureters.

Outcome:

The case settled for $725,000.000 shortly before trial.  Further details of the case and the parties involved remained sealed under a confidentiality agreement.

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