Date: October 1, 2012, Virginia Beach, VA
Lawyers: James C. Lewis, Mark F. and Kevin M. Duffan
Staff: Denell C- Paralegal; Melissa K- Legal Assistant
The plaintiff was a 32 year-old school teacher who was extremely overweight and had a disease process occurring in her abdomen called endometriosis. Numerous medicines were attempted to eliminate her pain but they were unsuccessful. Accordingly she and her gynecologist decided to remover her uterus by using a procedure known as laparoscopic hysterectomy. Normally, the abdomen is inflated with gas prior to attempting to surgically remove a patient’s uterus. In our client’s case these attempts at inflation were unsuccessful and the gynecologist decided to perform the procedure without the benefit of an inflated abdomen. The hysterectomy was performed laparoscopically and was reported by the surgeon to have been uneventful with no injuries noted by them. After the operation our client became ill and a CT scan performed six days after surgery was highly suspicious for a hole in her bowel (bowel perforation). Therefore, she was operated on again, her abdomen was opened and two holes were discovered in her colon and bowel. They were repaired but not before our client suffered extensive infections.
Over the next several months, our client required numerous additional operations to clean the infection out of her abdomen.
Her medical staff was ultimately successful in getting her abdominal wound to close. Since her release from the hospital, she has undergone two additional surgeries to address scar tissue formation (adhesions) that had formed.
It became readily apparent that the holes that the surgeon placed in the client’s bowel were largely the result of the surgeon’s failure to inflate her abdomen to give him a better view (this process is known as insufflation). We were able to obtain three highly qualified experts to review our client’s records. All three of them agreed to testify that the surgeons who operated on our client failed to comply with the appropriate standard of care when the performed this surgery without inflating out clients abdomen to improve their surgical visibility.
The case settled for $750,000.00. Further details of the case and the parties involved remain sealed under a confidentiality agreement.