$2.13 Million Jury Verdict for Negligent Use of Synthetic Mesh in Hernia Repair Operation

Barbara Watt underwent a hiatal hernia repair surgery. The procedure was carried out by general surgeon Dr. Cimenga Tshibaka, and it was unsuccessful. Dr. Tshibaka performed a second surgery, this time using a synthetic surgical mesh. The second surgery was about 2 weeks after the first.

The following month, Watt was diagnosed as having an esophageal leak, which required nine additional surgeries to, among other things, remove the synthetic mesh that had eroded into her esophagus.

As a result of these many surgeries, Watt must now eat slowly and in limited amounts. She must also wear special undergarments due to scarring and is unable to bend over to lift more than 5 pounds. She also missed time from her job as a financial operations specialist where she was earning $21 per hour.

Watt and her husband sued Dr. Tshibaka claiming that the doctor was negligent in using the synthetic mesh rather than an absorbable mesh. The Watt family also claimed that the synthetic mesh was more likely to travel and erode into the esophagus because of the regular motion of the esophagus and diaphragm while eating and breathing.

The jury entered a verdict of $2,130,000. The court denied the defendant’s post-trial motion. In the meantime, the defendant Dr. Tshibaka has appealed the verdict.

The Watt family was represented by attorneys Michael P. Smith and Ryan Perlin. At the trial, the Watt family attorneys engaged expert opinion testimony from a general surgeon, a gastroenterologist and a general surgeon.

Watt v. Tshibaka, No. 03-C-12-012005 (Md., Baltimore Co. Cir. July 2014).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling surgical negligence cases, medical negligence lawsuits and hospital negligence lawsuits for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of a medical provider for more than 38 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including New Lenox, Merrionette Park, Palos Hills, Schaumburg, Schiller Park, St. Charles, Aurora, Mount Prospect, Long Grove, Highland Park, Highwood, Homewood, Hinsdale, Wheaton and Blue Island, Ill.

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