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Nicked Colon Causes Woman’s Death After Elective Hernia Operation

Aug 11, 2011

Atlanta, GA (Law Firm Newswire) August 10, 2011 – This wrongful death lawsuit had its origins in medical malpractice. Many wrongful death lawsuits are often associated with med mal.

“This case had a bit of an unusual twist. While it is not out of the ordinary to run into different circumstances when dealing with cases like this, this reported court opinion was slightly unusual, as it partially granted the defendant’s objections to the plaintiff’s medical expert’s report,” said Robert Webb, an Atlanta personal injury lawyer with Webb & D’Orazio, a law firm specializing in personal injury, malpractice, criminal defense, and business law.

In some states, the law mandates that plaintiffs must submit a medical expert report within 30 days of filing a med mal lawsuit. In this instance, the defendant argued the plaintiff’s report did not identify any substantial negligence committed by the hospital’s surgical nurses. On the other hand, there was still a question about the floor nurses who cared for the deceased while she was in hospital.

The facts of the case were stated as the plaintiff, a 79-year-old woman, was undergoing surgery for an elective inguinal hernia repair, and that the surgeon nicked the woman’s colon. The woman returned to the ER a few days after surgery with a fever. She was booked for a laparotomy, where the doctors discovered a nicked colon. The woman died nine months after her laparotomy. The lawsuit further alleges the nurses caused the deceased unnecessary pain, negligently failed to provide her with proper care and treatment, and caused her death.

“There are a couple of issues here, one involving granting the partial denial of the plaintiff’s expert medical witnesses report and who was at fault for the care the deceased received. The partial denial may mean that only some of the defendants will be held responsible for the care and death of the deceased, and that the surgeon will also be held negligent for nicking the woman’s colon – an action that ultimately led to her deadly infection and death,” Webb said.

The main thing to take note of is that wrongful death cases are moving targets, in that the unexpected may happen, as it did in this case, and the plaintiff’s counsel needs to be prepared for just about any contingency. The medical malpractice lawyer’s job is to prove negligence was the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s death and, but for the medical mistake the doctor and/or nurses made, the patient may still be alive.

Webb & D’Orazio are Atlanta personal injury lawyers practicing personal injury law, business law, and criminal defense in Atlanta Georgia.

Webb & D’Orazio
2551 Roswell Road
Suite 201
Marietta, GA 30062
Call: (800) 275-9144