Network Firm News

Friday, February 22, 2013

Hood Law Firm, The South Carolina Network firm, announces a defense verdict following a trial in Horry County, SC, before The Honorable Clifton B. Newman. The case was tried by Robert H. Hood, Jr. and Elizabeth W. Ballentine. The Plaintiff filed a medical malpractice action against an OB-Gyn regarding complications from a hysterectomy performed on the Plaintiff in January 2006 to address abnormal bleeding. During the procedure, the Defendant entered the bladder and performed a cystotomy to repair the injury. The Plaintiff alleged through expert testimony the Defendant doctor was negligent in performing a hysterectomy and right salpingo-oophorectomy without indication, and in leaving a sponge in the Plaintiff at the site of the cystotomy following the procedure. The Plaintiff alleged the retained sponge caused a vesico-vaginal fistula and required an additional procedure to remove the sponge and repair the fistula several weeks later. Plaintiff attributed problems with chronic pain, urinary incontinence, and a significant decline in her health to the Defendant doctor’s alleged negligence.

The defense presented testimony from treating physicians and expert physicians who testified it was appropriate to perform the hysterectomy after counseling the Plaintiff on her options and allowing her to decide how to proceed. Further, they explained the duty of obtaining a correct sponge count falls on the nurses and in the face of a correct sponge count, it was appropriate for the Defendant to close the incision and conclude the procedure (as was conceded by Plaintiffs own expert). The defense also presented testimony Plaintiff’s current problems and complaints were unrelated to the retained sponge and fistula repair. The defense established the Defendant doctor acted appropriately and within the standard of care in his treatment of the Plaintiff and did not proximately cause her damages. The case was tried for three days and the jury returned a defense verdict in favor of the Defendants.

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