Articles Posted in Obstetrician Errors

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit of Chicago held that a prior acts exclusion under an insurance policy issued by a professional liability insurer to a medical-practice insurer excluded coverage. The exclusion was ruled legal only if the medical-malpractice insurer committed an actual wrongful act, not just if it was accused of committing such an act.

MedPro, the insured medical malpractice carrier in this case, was represented by Clyde & Co., LLP of Washington, D.C. The professional liability insurer was American International Specialty Lines Insurance Co. (AISLIC).

MedPro issued medical-malpractice coverage to Dr. Benny Phillips, subject to a $200,000 liability limit.
Continue reading

Hamidan Mahamad underwent an annual gynecological checkup performed by an obstetrician, Dr. Herbert Mosberg, an employee of Hollis Women’s Center. Mahamad was in her middle 60s at the time of this exam. A routine transvaginal ultrasound showed the presence of free fluid in Mahamad’s pelvis, which was not there on previous ultrasounds.

Dr. Mosberg said that the latest test was normal. However, nine months later, Mahamad was diagnosed as having ovarian cancer that had metastasized to her uterus, liver and other organs.

In spite of several rounds of chemotherapy and surgery, Mahamad passed away from her illness about two years later. She is survived by her two adult children.
Continue reading

The Maryland State Appellate Court has ruled that the trial judge was correct in deciding whether a patient’s negligence lawsuit, that of Yolanda Harris, would go forward against a women’s health clinic even after she dropped claims against her doctor, the agent to the clinic.

The Maryland Court of Specials Appeals said that Harris did not forfeit her right to a lawsuit against Women First OB/GYN Associates LLC when she voluntarily dropped all claims against the clinic’s physician, Dr. McMillan who was alleged to have committed malpractice in a hysterectomy procedure for Ms. Harris.

It was ruled that the judgment against Women First could stand even though the clinic’s negligence was based entirely on Dr. McMillan’s acts or omissions. The legal issue on appeal was whether the principal, Women First, could be held liable for the acts of its agent, Dr. McMillan, who had already been voluntarily dismissed.
Continue reading

Sandra Hernandez, 46, underwent a laparoscopic hysterectomy performed by the defendant obstetrician/gynecologist, Dr. Joseph Thomas. The surgery was done at Trinity Hospital in Chicago on March 31, 2010.

During the surgery, Dr. Thomas’s placement of a laparoscopic trocar resulted in lacerations to the iliac artery, iliac vein and small bowel. The iliac arteries are three arteries located in the region of the ilium in the pelvis. The three arteries are the common iliac artery, the external iliac artery and the internal iliac artery. These vessels are located in the pelvic area of the body.

After the lacerations, Hernandez suffered severe abdominal bleeding with massive blood loss leading to cardiac arrest and a call for a code blue resuscitation. Extensive amounts of blood products were administered after which surgery was completed to repair the small bowel and blood vessels.
Continue reading

Johnna Hunt, 40, underwent an outpatient hysteroscopic D&C that was performed by an obstetrician, Dr. John Kaczmarek. She returned home after this procedure and began to hemorrhage. She was admitted to a local hospital and was diagnosed as having a perforated uterine wall and arterial injuries.

Hunt required a hysterectomy and now suffers from scarring, pain and emotional distress as a result of the injuries she sustained. She filed a medical negligence lawsuit against Dr. Kaczmarek and his medical practice claiming that the doctor chose not to recognize that during the procedure he had not entered her endometrial cavity, negligently perforated her uterine wall and chose not to diagnose this intraoperatively and failed to treat intraoperative bleeding. The lawsuit did not claim any lost income.

The jury entered a verdict in favor of Johnna Hunt in the amount of $500,000. Hunt’s attorney was Timothy P. Pothin.
Continue reading

A Georgia Appellate Court has held that a physician who chose not to timely diagnose an injury postoperatively was not the act that began the running of the statute. Instead, the court ruled that the statute began to run from the time of the patient’s later follow-up office visit.

Laura Woodley Danson underwent a laparoscopic hysterectomy that was done by Dr. Dominique Smith, an obstetrician. She experienced symptoms, including stomach pain, after the surgery and complained about this in her postoperative visits with Dr. Smith.

Dr. Smith misdiagnosed the symptoms as a bladder infection and said too much gas had been used during her hysterectomy. Danson consulted another physician who diagnosed a kidney obstruction caused by the hysterectomy and an injured bladder.

Continue reading

This case was resolved in a confidential settlement. It dealt with an injury to a 50-year-old woman who underwent a hysterectomy performed by an obstetrician. During the surgery, it was revealed that a surgical sponge was missing. The doctor then performed a cystoscopy to examine the woman’s bladder and also repaired the bladder, which had been torn during the hysterectomy.

The obstetrician failed to notice that the woman’s ureters had been sutured closed during the bladder repair. The ureter is the tube that takes urine from the kidneys to the urinary bladder. There are two ureters. Each of the two ureters is attached to a kidney.

The woman suffered damage to both kidneys because of the sutured closed ureters and now suffers from frequent urinary tract infections and urinary stress incontinence.

Continue reading

J.B. was 35 years old and in her 26th week of her third pregnancy when she developed a severe headache and abdominal cramping. J.B. called her treating obstetrician’s office and later spoke to an on-call physician. That doctor diagnosed a gastrointestinal issue and told J.B. that there was no need for her to go to the hospital.

About 14 hours later, J.B. suffered a stroke. She now suffers from cognitive impairment and paralysis in her right arm, leg and foot. She had been a factory worker earning about $37,000 a year, but now is unable to work at all.

J.B. and her husband sued the obstetrician and her practice, alleging that she chose not to take a full and appropriate history, which would have revealed that J.B.’s abdominal pain was located exclusively in her upper right quadrant, indicative of preeclampsia.

Continue reading

Mary Mitchell underwent a total abdominal hysterectomy, but the doctor chose not to employ the appropriate prophylactic measures to prevent deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism that was alleged to have caused or contributed to her untimely and unfortunate death.. The doctor who did the surgery, Dr. Amalendu Majumdar was an obstetrician-gynecologist. When this patient flashed signs and symptoms of a pulmonary embolism during the post-op visit that he made on Nov. 20, 2004, he did not recognize and/or treat the signs and symptoms of this emergency.

As a result of Dr. Majumdar’s failings, Mitchell, who was only 43 years old, died the next day from extensive bilateral pulmonary emboli. She is survived by her husband and two children, ages 14 and 24.

The defendant doctor contended that he complied with the medical standard of care, that he did provide proper intra-operative and post-operative prophylaxis and that the patient did not exhibit “classic’ signs of a pulmonary embolism at the post-op visit on Nov. 20.

Continue reading

When the government is the only defendant in a Federal Tort Claims Act, the statute of limitations is two years. It doesn’t matter whether the plaintiff — who is the injured party in a medical negligence case — was a minor at the time of the injury. The statute is clear in that it states that a claim accrues when the plaintiff discovers, or a reasonable person in the plaintiff’s position would have discovered, that she had in fact been injured by an act or omission attributable to the government. The issue in this case was when the two-year countdown started.

Tenille Wallace’s medical-malpractice claim was against two defendants — the federally funded Friend Family Health Center and a private institution, the University of Chicago Hospital. The case presented the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals with a “new twist” on the usual scenario.

Wallace received prenatal care at the Friend Family Health Center. Her son, E.Y., had a troubled delivery and has been diagnosed as suffering from diplegic cerebral palsy. E.Y. was born at the University of Chicago Hospital on April 4, 2005.

Continue reading