Jurors sided in favor of a Shannon E. Taylor, a medical malpractice victim, and awarded her $3 million plus legal interest. The verdict was reached after a four-day trial in Winchester Circuit Court. Barbara Williams of Leesburg, VA did a fine job representing Taylor in this case.
Dr. Katherine Averill and Winchester Womancare were found liable for the injuries Taylor suffered during a hysterectomy she underwent in 2007.
A statutory cap on medical malpractice awards limits how much Taylor could receive, according to the defendant’s attorneys. Virginia caps damages in medical malpractice cases to $1.5 million as of the date that the malpractice in question occurred.
Judge Prosser said he would allow the defendants 60 days to file post-trial motions and in the meantime delay entering the judgment. Richard L. Nagle, one of the defense lawyers, indicated they will file a motion to set aside the verdict or reduce the jury award so it would fall within the statutory limit.
Judge Prosser urged both parties to try and negotiate a settlement.
Dr. Averill “negligently, grossly negligently, and recklessly breached her duty of care to the Plaintiff Taylor,” during and after performing the laparoscopically-assisted vaginal hysterectomy, according to the complaint filed on April 29, 2009.
The suit claimed, “Dr. Averill used material from Taylor’s anterior rectal wall rather than peritoneal tissue to restore the vaginal cuff following the removal of her uterus. As a result, Taylor sustained lacerations and injuries to the anterior rectal wall and rectum.”
The complaint further states that prior to finishing the procedure, Dr. Averill failed to adequately determine the placement of the sutures and allegedly didn’t take the proper steps to “follow up with, treat and timely remedy Taylor’s condition, injuries and status.”
Three days post-op, Taylor underwent emergency surgery, to remove the sutures, repair the vaginal cuff and two or more lacerations in the anterior rectal wall.
Hysterectomies are performed on many women, for a broad variety of reasons and can be performed in a number of ways including laprascopically. However, in some cases the surgeries can involve cut, torn, lacerated anatomy.
In fact, a laparoscopic surgical procedure malpractice may have been involved in late Congressman Murtha’s death. Rep. Murtha went in for Laparoscopic gallbladder removal surgery but suffered complications after the procedure. The complications apparently stemmed from when the surgeon accidentally cut his intestines causing an infection to develop.
To get more information about perforation injuries during surgical procedures, check out these videos and articles:
About the Edtors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm which focuses on injury and accident law and our attorneys have extensive experience handling medical malpractice cases, and provides this information pro bono. Please take a moment to review our medical malpractice case results and visit our blog dedicated exclusively to medical malpractice and surgical error issues.