A jury in Cumberland County, North Carolina, has awarded $7.5 million in damages to a woman whose lawsuit claimed that her ongoing health problems and severe illness came on after she had colon surgery back in 2010.
According to the complaint, the woman had part of her colon removed in June 2010 because of a mass that was found. It was thought to be potentially cancerous, but it was determined later that the mass was benign. After the surgery, the woman became ill and she remained that way for several months. She was suffering from internal bleeding, infections, kidney failure and low blood pressure. The illness meant she had to spend several weeks in hospitals in Chapel Hill and Fayetteville.
Two additional surgeries were completed, as doctors looked to see if there was leakage from the colon due to the first surgery. No leak was found. However, in October 2012, a leak was located during a colonoscopy. It was located where the surgeon had attached the colon to itself during the first surgery. A fourth surgery was scheduled and treated not only the leak, but other problems internally. The complaint states that the woman still deals with chronic abdominal pain and diarrhea.
The defendant in this case, Owen Drive Surgical Clinic of Fayetteville, and their attorney said that "the verdict is disappointing." The surgeon who did the initial surgery said that he has been in practice for 35 years and is listed in the top third of U.S. surgeons by ProPublica. During that time, the surgeon said he has been sued three times, but this is the first time he has had a jury award a verdict to the plaintiff.
When you or someone you love are injured due to medical malpractice, you have a right to seek compensation for your damages. These are complex cases that often require expert witnesses to testify to the plaintiff's suffering as a result of the medical procedure. An attorney can help you understand your legal options and how to proceed from here.
Source: Fayetteville Observer, "Former Cumberland County residents win $7.5 million award in medical malpractice lawsuit," Paul Woolverton, Sep. 30, 2016