Victim of Surgical Mistake Awarded Trial in Appeal

When it comes to reporting instances of surgical errors, we often chose to report on ones that are within the state of Connecticut because we realize how important it is for our readers to know about the mistakes that go on around them. But sometimes it’s important for us to point out stories from other states to show that mistakes can happen anywhere, but are nevertheless just as serious.

Take for example a case out of North Carolina where a serious surgical mistake caused a woman to suffer injury when doctors reattached her small intestine to her vagina. It’s because of this negligence that she suffered what is called conversion disorder, which is caused by conflict or stress. As a result, she experienced blurry vision, erratic hand movement, difficulty speaking, and weakness on her left side.

Although she sued the hospital for medical malpractice, the original judge dismissed the case stating that her case lacked a review from a medical expert. She appealed the case though pointing out that finding an expert was unnecessary in her situation. The court of appeals agreed with her, stating that it didn’t take an expert to point out that a person is not meant to defecate from the area of her body in which she had experienced.

Her case has now been remanded to the lower courts where she may finally be awarded a trial to argue her case. Although specific state laws bar her from requesting punitive damages, she may still file for compensatory damages in her case. The hope for her now is that she can reach a favorable resolution in court and receive compensation for her injuries.

Source: Courthouse News, “Vaginal Defecation Suit Will Go to Trial,” Jeff D. Gorman, Sept. 9, 2013